Things That Don't Suck
, Some Notes on The Stand
I recently reread The Stand for no particular reason other than I felt like it. I'm honestly not sure how many time[s] I've read it at this point, more than three, less than a half dozen (though I can clearly remember my first visit to that horrifyingly stripped bare world as I can remember the first reading of all the truly great King stories). It's not my favorite of King's work, but it is arguably his most richly and completely imagined. It truly is the American Lord of The Rings, with the concerns of England (Pastorialism vs. Industrialism, Germany's tendency to try and blow it up every thirty years or so) replaced by those of America (Religion, the omnipresent struggle between our liberal and libertarian ideals, our fear of and dependence on the military, racial and gender tension) and given harrowing size.
I'm happy to say that The Stand holds up well past the bounds of nostalgia and revisiting the world and these characters was as pleasurable as ever. But you can't step in the same river twice, even when you're revisiting a favorite book. Even if the river hasn't changed you have. This isn't meant as any kind of comprehensive essay on The Stand. Just a couple of things I noticed upon dipping my toes in the river this time.
[Spoiler alert: assume everything, from the link above to those below, contains SPOILERS.] [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome
on Aug 19, 2014 -
Take a stroll through French artist Vincent Fournier‘s
] gallery of animal photographs, and you’re likely to come across some creatures you’ve never seen before. Like, for instance, a jellyfish that is capable of electronically transmitting data across the Abyssal depths of the ocean. Or, perhaps, a scorpion that can perform semi-automated surgery on humans.
“These creatures come from the future—an imagined future, based loosely on current research on synthetic biology and genetic engineering,” says Fournier, of his project Post-Natural History, a series of digitally-altered photos of animals that do not yet exist. “The idea is that these are living species, reprogrammed by mankind to better fit our environment as well as to adapt to new human desires.”
posted by byanyothername
on Jan 8, 2014 -
writes hard sci-fi set in the near future
, inspired in part by the stories from his science journalist friends and the imminent future of cyberpunk
. Some of his works have been classified as "biopunk
," due to his focus on bio-engineered products that run rampant, with involvement for battling mega-corporations that (try to) run everything in a world where oil is expensive and human labor is cheap. His first published novel, The Windup Girl
(Google books preview), won both the Hugo and Nebula awards in 2010
. He has published three novels since then, all categorized as Young Adult fiction, but Bacigalupi sees his only adaptations for a younger audience to be to shift the focus to pacing, and less sexuality, but otherwise similar to his "adult" works
. He has also written a number of short stories (plus a few non-fiction pieces) over the years, many of which can be found online. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Oct 1, 2013 -
Orson Scott Card's Unaccompanied Sonata [Google Books]
, which he has called one of his favorite short stories, is an darkly enchanting tale about a boy who, at a young age, is taken from his family and brought to a house deep in the forest...
posted by Rory Marinich
on Jun 4, 2013 -
As California goes, so goes the country, they used to say. Well, yikes. Golden State
, an n+1
piece by Nikil Saval, presents a bleak picture of paralysis and conflicted interests that has rendered "The Bellwether State" all but inoperable. (via Arts & Letters Daily)
posted by Trochanter
on Feb 13, 2011 -
South Dakota Rep. Hal Wick (R-Sioux Falls), is sponsoring a bill
] which would require all citizens to buy a firearm “sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense” within six months of turning age 21. Rep. Wick said he is introducing the bill to prove a point that the federal health care reform mandate passed last year is unconstitutional
] [more inside]
posted by T.D. Strange
on Feb 1, 2011 -
Online communities to become more 'all-encompassing.'
If you join the SHC community on Sears.com, all web traffic to and from your computer thereafter will be copied and sent to a third party marketing research firm - including, for example, your secure sessions with your bank! The Sears.com proxy will send your logins and passwords along with a cleartext copy of all the supposedly secure data. But wait, it gets better
: you can only view the true TOS once the proxy has already been installed. [more inside]
posted by ikkyu2
on Jan 3, 2008 -
Depending on who you believe, either Guy Pearce
or Viggo Mortensen
will be cast in the lead role of the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's utterly brilliant dystopia, The Road
. To my mind, the adaptation marks Hollywood's rekindling of the almost forgotten genre of the post-apocalyptical movie
. With Mad Max, The Postman, Threads and The Day After, nuclear annihilation loomed large in the imaginations of filmmakers in the 70s and 80s. Since then cinematic dystopia has been projected in the realm of the fantastic (think 12 Monkey's, The Matrix and 28 Days Later). If dystopia is really just a satire of the present, what does the film adaptation of The Road tell us about the our times?
posted by MrMerlot
on Dec 5, 2007 -
. "Dine, shop, live, work, and be entertained in a unique and alluring environment," says the Time Warner Center
website - all without ever stepping outside your gleaming Manhattan skyscraper. San Jose's Santana Row
, which at first glance seemed no more than a Beverly Center
you can live in, is now being compared favorably to urban European living. And MGM-Mirage
's new, mysterious
and costly ($7 billion!) Project CityCenter
brings the trend to Las Vegas - with gambling, of course. They're not Arcosantis
- and they don't, as yet, require an Oath of Fealty
- but by all accounts they're thriving
. What do they have in common? Wealthy tenants, megacorporate sponsors, and a shared desire to integrate efficient, conspicuous consumption into every aspect of civic life. Paolo Soleri
may have been right after all - maybe he just forgot to account for the effects of capitalism
posted by ikkyu2
on Aug 28, 2006 -
At last, "THX-1138" with green-glowing, computer-generated robot factories!
George Lucas's first movie, the namesake of his sound system
, is coming to a theater near you, with a new 3D effects facelift, and a chilly, incomprehensible Flash site
. Will his "original vision"
of this 1971 dystopia be realized at last, or will his additions clash with the stark San Francisco subway tunnels
, like so much Yes music in a "Metropolis" re-release
posted by inksyndicate
on May 22, 2004 -
Do you want to explore that place of terror and wonder called Dystopia? Do you want to probe the dark depths of Metropolis, Brave New World, Nineteen Eighty-four, Blade Runner, Neuromancer and their likes?
A large site that verges on being one man's Magnificent Obsession with Dystopia. Don't let the awkward site navigation deter you from exploration.
posted by ashbury
on Dec 15, 2003 -