by admin on Jun.15, 2013, under Uncategorized
When a science fiction novel succeeds, there is often an immediate call for a continuation of the story. This can result in a sequel or series of sequels. Sometimes, the author opts to write a prequel.
The troubling aspect of prequels is this: if there is more to the origin story than what was written in the first novel, then why did the author not include that information in the first novel? Ultimately, prequels give the impression that these books are just excuses to (continue reading…)
by admin on Apr.19, 2013, under Uncategorized
There are quite a number of serious social issues within the subtext of the classic 1968 science-fiction film Planet of the Apes. There is also quite a bit of satire in the film. The humorous exchange between Charlton Heston and the young chimpanzee near the end of the film in which Heston tells him ”Don’t trust anyone over 30” is a nod to then relevant social commentary of the era.
The film also has a much darker sense of satire associated with it. The character Heston portrays, Col. Taylor, is a misanthrope who has grown to (continue reading…)
Harlan Ellison is one of the great grand daddies of the science fiction genre but, unfortunately, you won’t find too many of his works making that transition from written word to silver screen. In fact, only a couple of his stories were ever turned into films – A Boy and His Dog being a primary example.
A Boy and His Dog was an Ellison short story adapted into a film that bore very little of the black heart and soul of the original source. If you’re not a reader but you’re interested and you get all those movie channels through direct2tv.com/, you should look it up.
Just be warned, it is a nightmare.
Much of Ellison’s claim to fame is his ability to embrace the all-too forgotten conjectural aspect of science fiction and not really explore the potential wonder of it, but the nightmare. His stories don’t just take you to another world and another time – they take you to another hell.
If you were to put the king of horror, Stephen King, against Harlan Ellison, then Ellison would win every time. His cast of characters are unwitting bystanders in a vengeful god’s (in this case, the author) psychopathic torture spree. And we, the readers, are made to bare mute witness to it all. Unable to help our heroes and forced to live with the cosmic horrors that are visited upon them.
For those that enjoy reading science fiction, a name you may have heard of is Jack London. You may have even read a few of his science fiction books. The first book that he had ever received money for was actually science fiction.
Jack London had written numerous short stories with a total of 188 that were published. Of those short stories, thirteen of them were science fiction. It is a similar case in the novels that he had written. Of (continue reading…)
by admin on Jun.13, 2012, under Uncategorized
Ambrose Bierce was one of the more overlooked 19th-Century American writers, with satire and parody his specialties, and he appeared to take great pleasure in deflating the egos of the “powers-that-be.”
At age 19, Bierce enlisted in the Union Army and had a distinguished military career during the Civil War. After suffering a head injury, Bierce resigned from the army and began writing, the subject matter primarily based on his experiences during the war.
Some of Bierce’s more popular works include “A Horseman in the Sky,” “Fantastic Fables,” and perhaps his most heralded work, “An Occurrence (continue reading…)
by admin on Jun.09, 2012, under Uncategorized
One of the most interesting things about science fiction is it’s ability to take us to places that other genres cannot. Those places can be anywhere in space and time. Time travel is perhaps one of the most fascinating subjects that has spawned much debate in the science fiction world. Talking philosophy with someone like Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen would lead you to wonder about the very nature of time itself.
Time is a linear concept (continue reading…)
by admin on Jun.05, 2012, under Uncategorized
There are many genres of fiction that often are for only the genres’ biggest fans. Occasionally however, a novel leaps forth and becomes a bestselling masterpiece of the genre. A classic in its own right. Certain factors are common in these novels that become successful. However, this article will concentrate just on the genre of science fiction in order to determine the answer to the question of “What Makes A Science Fiction Novel a Classic?”.
Science Fiction Novels often have a solid stable of characters that the reader identifies with. While this does not have to (continue reading…)
1. Have impossible â€œscienceâ€ in your fiction. Really BAD science fiction (RBSF) relies on the reader or viewer not having a working knowledge of astrophysics or xenobiology. Your RBSF aliens are damaged by contact with water? Seventy percent of Earthâ€™s surface covered with water? Awesome. No motive or logic need apply. 2. RBSF is often recognized by a clichÃ©d ending, usually conceived of as being a horrifying twist. The planet is really Earth, the first/last man and woman on the planet are Adam and Eve. These tired plots worked well in the â€˜60s, so why not now? 3. Be completely character driven. Science and technology are just window dressing, after all. Stories are about people and they never change over the centuries. For an added fillip, destroy all technology and higher education in an apocalypse. Thatâ€™ll show â€˜em. 4. If you have an agenda, pursue it! RBSF is great for letting your audience know you feel global warming is the next greatest threat to mankind or that eating meat is morally unacceptable. If you can have a Native American shaman, Detroit television provider, an Asian woman, or an alien pontificate on why these things are so, so much the better. Still bored? Click to continue: Genre in the Mainstream:The New Yorker’s Science Fiction Issue