9 posts tagged with Sciencefiction by blahblahblah.
Displaying 1 through 9 of 9.
A new wave of Lovecraftian stories confront, rather than ignore, the racism and antisemitism that permeated Lovecraft's work, and, indeed, served as the basis for much of the horror. This roundtable of authors discussing how they address the problems of Lovecraft is worthwhile. Some authors are explicitly using Lovecraft as a lens on contemporary racism, such as in Matt Ruff's Lovecraft Country [PDF preview], while others mine Lovecraft's fear of the other to examine bigotry, as in Ruthanna Emrys's lovely Litany of Earth [full story] (Emyrs is also part of the Lovecraft Reread, which looks at both the Mythos-building and uncomfortable aspects of Lovecraft's stories). Previously, on the World Fantasy Awards and Lovecraft.
The background engine noises of iconic science fiction spaceships can be remarkably soothing. That is why Spike Snell created 12-hour sound loops of the background hum of the TNG Enterprise (prev.), the old Battlestar Galactica (and the new), a Cylon Basestar, the Discovery from 2001, the Heart of Gold, the Millennium Falcon (made from the sound of a P-51 Mustang), Mass Effect's Normandy, Babylon 5, Serenity, and hundreds more. Strangely, these fake space ship sounds don't sound too different from the actual noise on the ISS or space shuttle Atlantis. And if you don't like any of these, you can always generate your own!
Timelines: Time Travel in Popular Film and TV is a beautiful visualization of that most favored science fiction gimmick. For a more thorough, but less pretty, view of science fiction that messes with history, there is a chronology of when 1,800 different alternate history stories deviate from our own time line. Also, a brief look at the logic of time travel in science fiction, and how it should work.
Ruining science fiction: Not only are the science fiction cliches humorously skewered in the Tough Guide to the Known Galaxy, but the science itself is wrong. For example, despite the best efforts of SF writers, interstellar trade will never work, unless wine costs $11 billion a bottle. Slower-than-light travel is much harder than you think, and warp drives are far away. Space battles, if they happen, won't have fighters and dramatic dogfights, but instead involve vast distances and maneuvers lasting years. And you can ruin a whole lot more science fiction with real science (and wonderful examples) at Atomic Rocket. Don't follow the links if you want to read Heinlein or watch Battlestar Galactica with a light heart.
Computer interfaces from science fiction. Some of these interfaces (such as Minority Report) may be close to reality, while others are are being built by fans, and many more are just bad ideas. And, for reality's sake, there are also references to Windows in science fiction. See also this presentation about biometrics in science fiction [note: mp4 movie, the presentation starts about 20% in, and features Leprechaun 4: Leprechauns in space.].
Imaginary places in detail: Start with a wonderful overview of megastructures in science fiction and examine a dictionary of 76 locations from recent fantasy novels. Then move on to the interactive maps: Mordor, Narnia, the Simpson's Springfield, England as seen in many stories, New York in fiction, Lovecraft's New England, maps from almost any video game, Star Trek, the Marvel Universe, and the DC Universe.
The nature of science fiction poetry is the subject of vigorous debate even among its own practitioners. Nonetheless, it has its own annual awards, the Rhyslings. What wins? The first victor in 1978 was Gene Wolfe's The Computer Iterates the Greater Trumps, while Tim Pratt's Soul Searching was the most recent winner. Bruce Boston, Robert Frazier, and Andrew Joron are generally considered the masters of the field. Many more poems here, as well as an in-depth bibliography, and, of course, the periodic table of science fiction haikus about the elements. Don't like science fiction? Cowboy poetry is also a thriving genre.
An index to 1,696 constructed languages. (or just look at the top 200) From the Nadsat of a Clockwork Orange and Tolkein's Quenya to Star Trek's Darmonk, a language based solely on parables (though Gene Wolfe got there first) and Borges's language of Tlon, there is plenty here for science fiction fans and language geeks alike. And, yes, for all you fanatics, Esperanto is listed, as is your source for news in Special English, limited to a 1500 word vocabulary.
Free, good science fiction for download, some you might have seen, some new, all are worth the time. If you have only a few minutes, Michael Swanick's Science Fiction Table of the Elements features 108 short short stories. If you have a little more time, Kelly Link, called by Neil Gaiman "the best short story writer currently out there" has released her much-praised collection Stranger Things Happen. For longer reads, Charlie Stross has made available his cyberpunk novel Accelerando and his Lovecraftish Colder War. The creepier Peter Watts has posted the New York Times Notable Book Starfish, and its sequels as well [previously]. If you haven't had enough, you should check out the Baen Free Library, with books by everyone from Andre Norton to Larry Niven, as well as a large amount of right-of-center combat-oriented stuff by David Weber and friends. Also, the Science Fiction Channel has made available many well-known classic short stories as well as a lot of contemporary Hugo and World Fantasy Award winners [previously]. Finally, you probably already know that Cory Doctorow has four novels available under creative commons. Happy reading!