Friday, September 23, 2011

Some Thoughts on Science Fiction

     In my series of articles on classic science fiction stories as well as the contemporary stories that I recommend I am hoping to make it clear that the genre, which is so often dismissed as escapist garbage, is actually a genre filled with deep ideas. Through a lens of the future or alien-ness or artificial intelligence or any of the other common or not-so-common science fiction tropes readers are allowed to view themselves, their culture, from a distance. How people react to completely fanciful situations often mirrors how they react to all-too-real situations in their everyday lives. This goes toward solving a problem that I think is prevalent in our society. It is the problem of self-centeredness. If one thinks only in terms of “me,” of “here,” of “now,” then one’s perception is greatly limited.

Monday, September 19, 2011

September Writing Update

     I am still working on my novel, Chrysopteron. It is developing well but the last few times I sat down and worked on it I couldn't really get things to click. I wrote some short stories instead to try and "prime the pump," if you will. For this reason I don't think Chrysopteron will be done by the end of September as I originally intended but I am looking to finish it sometime in October. Once it is completed I’ll let it marinate for a while before going back for revision.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Review: "Requiem Duet, Concerto for Flute and Voodoo"
by Eugie Foster

     Over at Daily Science Fiction "Requiem Duet, Concerto for Flute and Voodoo" by Eugie Foster can now be read. Daily Science Fiction sends a free story to your inbox every day. A week after that the story is available on the website. So, I have waited until now to review "Requiem Duet...."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Review: "The Day the Pod Landed" by Jeff Cross

     What does our increasingly-consumerist society have in store (pun intended)? A future in which corporations have their own armies and invade villages and other corporations to expand their brand, according to "The Day the Pod Landed" by Jeff Cross, which can be read over at Redstone Science Fiction. (Spoilers follow, so go read it first.) These corporations dazzle the vanquished with shopping malls and well-paying jobs, they give them products the likes of which the villagers have never before seen. It's an appealing prospect for Sofia, a villager who has always had higher aspirations.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Classic Science Fiction 02: "The Moon Moth"

     With a fund of racial energy and a great deal of leisure time, the population occupies itself with intricacy. …[I]ntricate symbolism, as exemplified in the masks worn by everyone; the intricate half-musical language which admirably expresses subtle moods and emotions; and above all the fantastic intricacy of interpersonal relationships. Prestige, face, mana, repute, glory: the Sirenese word is strakh. Every man has his characteristic strakh….
     -- from "The Moon Moth" 
     One of the most rewarding aspects of speculative fiction is being able to get lost in new and unique realities. Speculative fiction writers refer to the process of creating these realities as “world building.” Whether it be describing a world in which magic and mythical creatures are commonplace, exploring the planets and cultures of alien races or even just predicting what human culture will be like a hundred, a thousand, a millions years from now, world building is a process many writers relish.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Classic Science Fiction 01: "Flowers for Algernon"

     I felt sick inside as I looked at his dull, vacuous smile, the wide, bright eyes of a child, uncertain but eager to please. They were laughing at him because he was mentally retarded.
     And I had been laughing at him too.
     Suddenly, I was furious at myself and all those who were smirking at him. I jumped up and shouted, "Shut up! Leave him alone! It's not his fault he can't understand! He can't help what he is! But for God's sake... he's still a human being!"
     The room grew silent. I cursed myself for losing control and creating a scene. I tried not to look at the boy as I paid my check and walked out without touching my food. I felt ashamed for both of us.
     --  from "Flowers for Algernon"
     What is the point of art? What is its purpose, what does it hope to accomplish? This question has been debated for centuries but for me the answer is simple: art should make you think or it should make you feel and the best art does both.

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Reboot

     Well, anyone who's visited my blog in the past (all three or four of you) will notice that all previous content has been removed. This is because I am rebooting the blog and returning to a focus on speculative fiction (meaning science fiction, fantasy, horror, etc.) I mostly write science fiction but have written a few stories in the other genres.

     In this blog I will discuss my writing, writing in general, great stories and books that I read as well as the business of publishing fiction (or difficulty that lies therein).