Can science fiction help us to heal and grow? With John Vervaeke

In my late teens and early twenties I was very ill. I was eighteen when my mother died from cancer and the grief sent me into a downward spiral of mental illness and drug use that I did not spiral up from until my mid-20s. One of the things that helped me recover was scienceContinue reading “Can science fiction help us to heal and grow? With John Vervaeke”

Is this the moment that inspired the Force in Star Wars?

Much has been written about the origins of Star Wars in ancient mythology, via the work of mythologist Joseph Campbell. But the blockbuster movies’ origins in modern mythology are sometimes forgotten. The Foundation saga by Isaac Asimov is one of the most influential science fiction stories ever written. It inspired classic storytelling from Frank Herbert’sContinue reading “Is this the moment that inspired the Force in Star Wars?”

Science Fiction is not here to entertain you

“Are you not entertained?” Roars a muscular Russell Crowe at the crowd being entertained by murder in a provincial Roman gladiatorial arena. Maximus Decimus is a soldier. To kill men is his profession. He’s better at it than any gladiator. But as a slave he is now reduced to killing for the lowest reason –Continue reading “Science Fiction is not here to entertain you”

How corporate marketing created the Geek identity

Corporations took the intense, subversive, revolutionary force that was science fiction, and they turned it to trash culture. Today’s post is because I was thinking about the idea of the “scifi fan”. And how much I hate it. One thing that may not be apparent to people who don’t work in marketing, because it isContinue reading “How corporate marketing created the Geek identity”

Science fiction sold out. Let’s take it back.

Corporations love to take cool things and turn them to trash to make money. In the early 80s black artists took DJ music loops, rapped radical political lyrics over them, and invented hip-hop. Corporations took hip-hop and degraded it into “gangsta rap”, perpetuating stereotypes of black male violence to sell hip-hop to the masses. CorporationsContinue reading “Science fiction sold out. Let’s take it back.”

What do the literary folks mean when they say science fiction is “badly written”?

Mid-way through Foundation and Empire, Asimov hits an entirely new note in his writing. For the first time he enters INSIDE one of his characters. We see the world as they see it. It’s probably significant that this is also the first major female character in the story. Asimov was a great writer on manyContinue reading “What do the literary folks mean when they say science fiction is “badly written”?”

Call for Stories : What is the future of science fiction?

An open call for non-fiction stories of up-to 600 words, to be published on the Science Fiction medium group. Rolling deadline. For 200 years science fiction has predicted the future. But what is the future of science fiction? The Science Fiction publication on Medium is seeking non-fiction stories in the following categories : ESSAYS –Continue reading “Call for Stories : What is the future of science fiction?”

How Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey rewrote science fiction

“Stanley wanted to create a myth. And I think he succeeded. He wanted to make the proverbial “good science fiction movie”, implying there hadn’t been any good ones before then. I didn’t agree.”                             Arthur C Clarke 2001 : A Space Odyssey is widely considered the greatest science fiction story ever told. It’s creator, auteur movieContinue reading “How Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey rewrote science fiction”

Yes, Deckard is a replicant. But that’s not Blade Runner’s secret

One of the elements that makes Blade Runner so haunting. Deckard isn’t the protagonist of the story. Roy Batty is. The “hidden protagonist” is a technique in noir fiction. The character who ordinarily would be the emotional centre of the story is made background, and instead you follow the antagonist. In PKDs novel Deckard isContinue reading “Yes, Deckard is a replicant. But that’s not Blade Runner’s secret”

How does M John Harrison enter a story?

M John Harrison is one of the all time greats, a “science fiction writer’s science fiction writer”, a creator of weird tales in the horror tradition, and a powerful weaver of fantasy. The Viriconium stories defined political fantasy in the 80’s, as the Light trilogy redefined literary SF in the 00s. As editor of NewContinue reading “How does M John Harrison enter a story?”