Science Fiction

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Re: Science Fiction

Post  ISN on Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:43 pm

Hi, Eddie - fantastic piece by margaret atwood - would it trouble you to post a link when you share a guardian article - otherwise it's hard to find the story on the website - I just posted it on Twitter.....thanks Smile

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Re: Science Fiction

Post  Constance on Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:18 am

Good to seer you back, Catherine. Sorry to hear you weren't feeling well. The school plans sound great. Now, don't be a stranger!

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Re: Science Fiction

Post  Guest on Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:45 am

ISN wrote:John Cusack sent me a private message.....wedding bells, I hear you say.....lol.....not
I'm wondering what you said...
You must be revolutionazing twitter pirat

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Re: Science Fiction

Post  ISN on Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:14 pm

Constance wrote:Good to seer you back, Catherine. Sorry to hear you weren't feeling well. The school plans sound great. Now, don't be a stranger!

thanks, Dharma.....

shall try to stick around....Smile

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Re: Science Fiction

Post  LaRue on Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:37 am

[quote="asdf"]
ISN wrote:John Cusack sent me a private message.....wedding bells, I hear you say.....lol.....not
I'm wondering what you said...
You must be revolutionazing twitter pirat [/quote
TELL US MORE ABOUT CUSACK!!!!! So glad to see you again! Very Happy

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Re: Science Fiction

Post  ISN on Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:44 pm

Aw, thanks, Rue Rue..... I love you

well, John Cusack - I think he teh likes me....heheheh Cool

he just sent me a private message saying 'whassup?"

but I couldn't reply cos he doesn't follow me - what a TEASE!

but seriously - he's like a carbon copy of Michael - he can't spell and he's passionate about good causes.....

why would I want to go there again? (well, maybe I would)....

Torin knows he's on my twitter so he said, "Mum, can we ask him for some money?" Embarassed

I forced him to watch High Fidelity (he chose to watch Hot Tub Time Machine a few times)......

he also likes 2012

I've been following the JC for about 3 years on myspace and now on Twitter

interesting fact - CJ - catherine jones - JC - john cusack - he was born on 28/6/66 in America (Irish too)

take into account the time difference for Ireland (me - 29/6/66) and we're practically twins....hehe

I'm not obsessed at all Embarassed

Nash will be disappointed to learn that there'll be no more Clinton peoms - he's an arse!!!

(and Eddie will be delighted to learn that none other than William Gibson retweeted me - ha!!!)

I think I have the most exclusive Twitter account possible - I weed it ever now and then.....

delusional - no way Rolling Eyes

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Re: Science Fiction

Post  Nah Ville Sky Chick on Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:03 am

No I am disappointed about the Clinton poems, can't you write one about him being an arse?

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Re: Science Fiction

Post  ISN on Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:05 pm

Nah Ville Sky Chick wrote: No I am disappointed about the Clinton poems, can't you write one about him being an arse?

not only is Clinton an arse
he's really a bit of a farce
(I tried it in Farsi
but asshole won't parse)
I think we all know
I've had the last laugh
(larfed my head off
as he sits there so royal)
although I'm a bumpkin
I really did toil (haha)
to plant the seeds of my love
in his soil

but happens as must
(I've sworn and I've cussed)
the sex god desired
has made me quite tired
and anyway
he's pretty hairy!

final Clinton poem (unless there's another)

just for you, Nashie - and cos I'm teh durnk....hehehe

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Re: Science Fiction

Post  Nah Ville Sky Chick on Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:20 am

ISN wrote:
Nah Ville Sky Chick wrote: No I am disappointed about the Clinton poems, can't you write one about him being an arse?

not only is Clinton an arse
he's really a bit of a farce
(I tried it in Farsi
but asshole won't parse)
I think we all know
I've had the last laugh
(larfed my head off
as he sits there so royal)
although I'm a bumpkin
I really did toil (haha)
to plant the seeds of my love
in his soil

but happens as must
(I've sworn and I've cussed)
the sex god desired
has made me quite tired
and anyway
he's pretty hairy!

final Clinton poem (unless there's another)

just for you, Nashie - and cos I'm teh durnk....hehehe

Brilliant!! I like the hairy bit, where is he hairy, is he a hairy back and upper arms type chap? My boss is (he often sends me photos of himself when he is on holiday affraid ), but he doesn't have a hair on his head afro

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Re: Science Fiction

Post  ISN on Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:56 am

I haven't seen his back or chest, but his head and chin are always growing madly - he's always got straggly growth

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Re: Science Fiction

Post  eddie on Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:31 am

Explaining Philip K Dick's Exegesis

The private papers documenting his cosmic illumination by a pink laser have long gilded the PKD legend. Published at last, do they shed much light for the rest of us?

Daniel Kalder
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 23 November 2011 11.38 GMT


Philip K Dick: the private man. Photograph: Philippe Hupp/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Philip K Dick rewired my brain when I was a mere lad, after I plucked Clans of the Alphane Moon at random from a shelf in my local library. This was in the 1980s: PKD had not yet become a multi-million dollar industry and his best endorsements came from counterculture figures such as Timothy Leary or fellow denizens of the SF ghetto such as Michael Moorcock.


The Exegesis of Philip K Dick
by Philip K Dick

It was exciting to be a PKD reader back then. Lots of secondary material was being published, such as Paul Williams's interview book Only Apparently Real, or Lawrence Sutin's excellent biography Divine Invasions. Soon it was obvious that not only were PKD's books – with their combination of metaphysical speculation, social satire, bad relationships, and fantastic ideas tossed out as mere afterthoughts – bizarre and wonderful, but that Dick the man was Seriously Weird.

Sure, there was the paranoia, his prodigious appetite for amphetamines, his obsession with Linda Ronstadt and his fear that either the Black Panthers or FBI had raided his house – enough eccentricity for any lifetime, you might think. But that was all eclipsed by what happened on 20 February 1974, when a pink laser beam filled his mind with arcane and beneficial knowledge.

Where had it come from? God? Aliens? A healthy vitamin solution he had quaffed hours earlier? Dick loved to speculate, so much so that this event inspired not only his late "VALIS Trilogy" but also a private work he called The Exegesis. When he died in 1982 it ran to approximately 8,000 pages of analysis, hypothesis and self-questioning.

For some, the pink laser beam is mere lunacy. I recall a TV documentary in which Brian Aldiss dismissed it as the result of neurochemistry gone awry. Others have argued that it was temporal lobe epilepsy. For still others, an unsavoury whiff of L Ron Hubbard hangs over the event. After all, Dick was heavily into theology. Was he starting a cult? If not, would his fans do it for him?

Probably not: Dick's approach to 2-3-74 (as he called the experience, since the cosmic mind invasion was most intense between February and March) was not dogmatic but critical, and he was the first to suggest that it might have been a neurological event. But then again, the light had diagnosed a potentially critical illness in his son which doctors had missed, and he had received information in dream states in dead languages he could not speak. "It" knew things he did not. So what was it?

Dick never intended The Exegesis for publication, and aside from In Pursuit of VALIS, a tiny selection of extracts from the book that was brought out in 1991, it has remained a thing of legend only. Until last month, however, when Houghton Mifflin Harcourt brought out a huge 900-page volume, co-edited by Jonathan Lethem and Pamela Jackson. It's still only about one tenth of the whole thing, but it's a start. But what, if anything, does this text have to offer people who are not Philip K Dick?

Afraid that the answer might be "not much" I started in on it immediately lest it sit on my shelf unread for 20 years like In Pursuit of VALIS. The first thing I noticed is that Lethem et al assume that anyone reading this book already knows what it is, and will only come to it after deep immersion in PKD's fiction. And indeed, Dick himself begins with a discussion of 2-3-74 through the prism of his novel Ubik, where many of the characters are dead bodies lying in "cold-pac", while their ex-employer Glen Runciter seeks to communicate with them from the world of the living … maybe. Was the pink laser beam likewise an invasion of a dead world by something alive?

That PKD had published Ubik four years earlier was not a problem; he writes as if his book might still have related the truth behind appearances. But Ubik doesn't work, as the world is not visibly rotting around him as it was in the novel. However, Dick immediately conceives of another possibility, and I can't help but wonder what his friend Claudia Bush thought when she received a letter in which Dick speculates that a dead bishop named Jim Pike was invading his mind, before suddenly switching to the theory that it might be an ancient Greek named Asklepios. Asklepios's ignorance of Christ suggests something else: did the world go wrong around 2,000 years ago? Is the goal of this higher intelligence to restore man to a pre-Christian path?

A few pages later, however, and Dick confides in Ursula Le Guin that it's the prophet Elijah. Or at least that's what Thomas M Disch (a great SF writer of the 60s and 70s) had suggested. But there is precisely zero possibility that Disch was serious – his take on PKD was that the great man liked to play with his own mental illness. Disch always kept an ironic distance – which is something I miss in the ultra-reverential contemporary introductions to Dick's work written by fanboys with PhDs and MFAs.

These ideas rush past and are discarded within the first 40 pages or so. John Denver also pops up. The Exegesis is dizzying, bewildering, exhilarating, and more or less as strange as it sounds. But again, should you read it? It doesn't contain the answers to all things; it doesn't even contain the answer to what happened to Dick.

Lethem suggests that the reader must simply "surrender". I suspect he's right – but that won't work unless you've read at least 16 of Dick's novels, plus his biography, and love metaphysics. At that point, The Exegesis will bring you extraordinarily close to his unique mind, with its mixture of doubt, wild invention, minuscule detail, grandiose theory and wry humour. Reality collapses and is then remade, over and over again – but what is real?

Who cares? That's part of the game.

In short: if you want to know what it's like to have your world dissolve, and then try to rebuild it while suffering mental invasions from God, Asklepios or whomever, you should read The Exegesis. Then again, you could always try one of Dick's novels, like Ubik, or The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, or even a minor book such as Galactic Pot-Healer. That one's a lot of fun – and considerably less of an investment of time and energy.

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Re: Science Fiction

Post  eddie on Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:43 pm

Is science fiction literature's first international language?

From China to Russia and beyond, SF is emerging as the genre best able to articulate the relentless pace of global change

Damien Walter

guardian.co.uk, Friday 27 April 2012 10.12 BST


Moving beyond the western world ... a still from the film Avengers Assemble. Photograph: Zade Rosenthal

Language may be the most obvious barrier to cultural exchange, but it is also the easiest to hurdle: a good translator can capture much if not all of the character of a great novel. The real barrier to sharing between cultures is culture itself. British literary fiction, deeply fascinated with the minutiae of class structure, isn't of much more than passing interest to most Chinese readers. Not because Chinese culture isn't every bit as fascinated with its own social structure, but because if you buy a rulebook you want it to be for the game you are actually playing. As far as a cultural artefact serves as a guide to a culture, it belongs uniquely to that culture.

The Marvel comics' superhero franchise Avengers Assemble launches this weekend to audiences in dozens of cultures worldwide, and dozens more in coming weeks. At first sight this seems a triumph of international connectivity, but the sci-fi blockbuster transcends cultural boundaries by doing away with the whole problem of meaning and replacing it with CGI spectacle. The director, Joss Whedon, has pulled off an impressive feat in packing so many mythic symbols and archetypes into one movie, while completely castrating their meaning.

The geek culture that made Marvel comics part of its mythology has, like all other cultures, been repurposed by capitalism as a way of selling products to the mass market. And with an estimated 25% of under-34s self-identifying with the geek demographic, it's arguable that geek culture is really just a response to a lack of culture, a generation who have grown up alienated from any sense of cultural belonging, and are left clinging on to Hollywood product.

It's as a response to that cultural void that science fiction becomes genuinely interesting. In the midst of an ever accelerating technological revolution, science fiction has emerged as the literature best able to articulate the relentless pace of social change. And as that technological revolution has spread outward from the western world, so the symbols and archetypes of science fiction have become a shared language for understanding the new world we are entering.

The World SF blog edited by Israeli born author Lavie Tidhar has been cataloguing the emergence of international SF since 2009, and the increasing cross-pollination between SF communities in Europe, South America, Asia, China, India and elsewhere. It's an absolute must read for anyone still hardwired in to the Americanised, anglophone conception of SF. Much of the focus of translation efforts in the international SF community so far has been short fiction gathered in anthologies such as the Apex Book of World SF and Phillipine Speculative Fiction, but an increasing number of full-length novels are finding translation.

The work of Liu Cixin, eight-time winner of the Galaxy award and arguably the most popular SF author in China, is now available in English translation. Liu Cixin's writing will remind SF fans of the genre's golden age, with its positive focus on scientific development, combined with a consistently constructive vision of China's future role as a global superpower. It's characteristic of an SF genre which has been embraced by Chinese culture because it is seen as representing the values of technological innovation and creativity so highly prized in a country developing more quickly than any other in the world today.

Russian SF has a long and well-documented history as an outlet for political perspectives that were otherwise repressed. But it is as a critique of the values of western capitalism that the genre has recently caught attention. The Last Ringbearer by Kirill Eskov is set in the Middle Earth of JRR Tolkien, immediately after the climatic battle of The Return of the King, and has recently been issued in its second edition translation free online, despite objections from the Tolkien estate. The book reimagines Lord of the Rings as a history written by the victors, with Mordor recast as an emergent industrial nation crushed under the heel of a war-mongering western alliance lead by Gondor, and Gandalf described as "engineering a final solution to the Mordorian problem". If this mirrors a large proportion of European / Russian history it seems entirely valid, given how easily exactly the same reading can be made of Tolkien's fantasy epic.

There may only be a small wave of translated SF reaching the anglophone world today, but the internet is quickly unleashing much more. I'm only beginning to scratch the surface myself. Who are the other international SF authors we should all be reading today?

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Re: Science Fiction

Post  Yakima Canutt on Wed May 02, 2012 12:14 pm

The Avengers are a group of agents who have a lot of problems. Cap'n America was thawed out and really belongs in the 1940s and doesn't understand what's going on.

Iron Man is pretty cocky and has some decent laser guns and armor but he has a space-age pacemaker that could crap out anytime and kill him, also all his mega-powers are tech-based so any of his foes can steal the technology. Also he is the Marvel Universe incarnation of Howard Hughes so eventually Iron Man will seal himself in his shoe closet with jars of urine and kleenex box hats.

The Impressive Hulk really is a tragic figure who can go from sad-sack nerd to homicidal maniac with no warning, and this causes a debilitating guilt complex as you might guess. More a menace to society than Champion, Bruce tries to cure his Hulk fits, but he ends up being Grey instead of Green and instead of changing from Bruce to Green Hulk he is just always Gray Hulk. Grey Hulk is less psychotic than Green, but also way less strong and can't jump nearly as good. Also his girlfriend Betty finds the Grey color a turn-offf.

The Sturdy Thor comes from another dimension called Assguaaard- he was banished and is on the outs with the Assguaaardians and doesn't really fit in with the humans that he spends his time protecting. His brother is a dick.

Hawk-Eye lost his parents in a grusome automobile accident and then was beaten almost to death by his circus mentor... he is a haunted dude. His fukc buddy is The Black Widow who as a Russian youngster watched all her loved ones burn to death in Stalingrad and then was subjected to lots of brainwashing by the KGB and then she commmittted many crimes against humanity on behalf of the Soviet state...she defected to The Avengers but she will always be suspect and communist.

Henry Pym is a pitiful case- his irritating arrogance a poor cover for his insecurity and mental illness. He continually changes his Special Hero avatar, from ANT-MAN to GIANT-MAN to HORNETPANTS to The FLYING YELLOJACKET... because none of them are very impressive- consider GIANT-MAN...he can make himself 60 feet tall but then what? Usually all he does in that case is make himself a bigger target. Also he botched an experiment and inhaled gas that made him schizophrenic and bipolar. The Wasp lady might be the most well-adjusted AVENGER, even with her middling skill of shrinking to WASP size so to fly into airducts and puter terminals, but she is the squeeze of the deeply troubled Henry Pym and thus is condemned to a life of Super misery.

the AVENGERS eventually expanded and tried to start up some West Coast operations with mixed results...picking up psychiatrist, minor telepath, occultist and grade-A creep DOCTOR DRUID who didn't do too much but did manage to be disgraced after being mind-controlled by supervillainess the Terminatrix (at the time impersonating the space pirate Nebula) which surely did nothing to lessen the perception that DOCTOR DRUID is the poor poor man's Dr. Strange.

Other westeren acquisitions include NAMOR the Sub-Mariner who is an Atlantean who only wears underpants and has severe anger management difficulties. Like the oft ridiculed Aqua-Man, NAMOR the Sub-Mariner is only useful if Mister Sinister is unleashing killer Sea Horses or Death Cods. If you want to outwit NAMOR then just stay out of salt water. Rolling Eyes



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Re: Science Fiction

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sat May 26, 2012 11:38 am

You know how "Star Trek : The Motion Picture" has a plot that is awful similar to season two episode "THE CHANGELING"? Well get this, some yucksters have branded "ST:TMP" ... well they have branded it "Where NOMAD has Gone Before." Get it? Because NOMAD is the name of the space probe/crop duster-bot from episode "THE CHANGELING." Oh jeez, too too funny. lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol!
lol! lol! lol! lol! lol!
lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol!
lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol!
lol! lol! lol!
lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol!
lol! lol! lol!

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Re: Science Fiction

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sat May 26, 2012 11:46 am


:
Arrow


Last edited by user on Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:06 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Science Fiction

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