SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, AND MORE . . .
FROM MY BLOG
NOTE FROM CORA
I was surprised that there were so many articles about old dead guys this week. I kept running across so many, I decided to include them here.
1) “The Wonder Woman Movie Has a Wild New Take on the Origins of the Amazons” by James Whitbrook
“According to the rundown, the origin is covered as an animated storybook tale told to Diana when she’s eight years old, which explains after Zeus created humanity as companions to the Greek gods, his jealous brother Ares sowed dissent by turning the minds of men to war. Using the cover of humanity’s newfound strife, Ares goes about murdering all the gods, until Zeus creates the Amazons as his tool to stop his brother—and although Ares convinces mankind to enslave the Amazons for a period, they are eventually able to break free. In the meantime, Ares and Zeus battle, and are both severely wounded. Ares survives and escapes, but Zeus, with his dying breath, creates Themyscira as a safe haven for the Amazons to escape to—as well as a sword we’ve seen in the trailers and promotional pictures, the Godkiller, believed to be the only weapon that can kill Ares for good.”
2) Just so this won’t only be about old dead white guys, here’s a fun article. “Five Amazing Women Warriors of the Middle Ages” by Michael Livingston
“For instance, in 1999, Father George Dennis found a note slipped into the pages of an obscure manuscript in the Mediceo-Laurentian Library in Florence. Stuck in between the writings of the Byzantine monastic theologian Maximos Planoudis, a poem on meter, and the works of the late antique Greek rhetorician Libanius—I told you this was an obscure manuscript!—was this passage:
“In the part of Karia just opposite Chios, it is reported that, in our own day, a mature woman, with some facial hair, named Makouraino, married and with children, displayed her valor and leadership when the occasion presented itself. What she did was no less than what a man would do, indeed what the bravest men would do. For her ability to stretch tight and stiff bows was awesome. It is said that, by herself, she stood up to two pirate ships and drove them from the shore by firing arrows at them. In the year 1341.
“We know nothing else of her. The story is nowhere else preserved. But she sounds amazing.”
“Tolkien’s first mark on the genre came with the publication of The Hobbit in 1937. Although shorter and more light-hearted than its epic big brother The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien’s first novel casts a long shadow of its own, redefining the idea of children’s fantasy.”
4) I’m always surprised that people still know the Twilight Zone and Rod Sterling. “The man behind The Twilight Zone” by Carl G. White
“On Oct. 31, 1959, the sci-fi anthology show “The Twilight Zone” premiered on the CBS network. It wasn’t suppose to succeed according to the network officials. The Science Fiction genre was considered to be one-dimensional with low-budget flying saucers and green spacemen. However, the creator and host, Rod Serling, surprised his viewing TV audience with well-written [scripts] and stories based around the fear of the Cold War era.”
5) This is pretty cool. “The Art and Science of Making a Believable Sci-Fi Spaceship”
“Humans have yet to travel beyond our own star, or even beyond our planet’s moon, but science fiction–books, movies, TV–has given us countless visions of what it might be like when we do, with varying degrees of respect for scientific accuracy. From the centrifugal gravity of 2001’s Space Station V to the handwave-y hyperspace capabilities of the Millennium Falcon, there is a delicate balance between possible and awesome, likely and ludicrous. The ships of the video game franchise Mass Effect are no different, except for the subtle but serious constraints of the digital world, which are very much real.”
“While dystopian stories like Atwood’s help readers contextualize the here and now, there’s also a stable of science fiction authors using the genre to explore possible solutions to current problems. So, we asked authors to imagine how reproductive rights could be protected, and improved, in the future. Their answers, below, include birth control injections distributed to both men and women, and socializing kids to take ownership of their own bodies.”
7) “H.G. Wells and Jack the Ripper: Stranger than Fiction?” by Tim Ott
“If you’re a fan of science fiction, curious about new shows or simply into sexy British guys, then you may want to check out ABC’s new adventure drama, Time After Time. Adapted from a movie and novel that were both released in 1979, the series follows The Time Machine author H.G. Wells as he fires up his own time-traveling invention to pursue his friend Jack the Ripper into the unfamiliar terrain of 21st century Manhattan. What fun!”
“Sometimes a book comes along that completely knocks you off your feet. A perfect example is A Fire Upon the Deep, by Vernor Vinge. It takes all the tropes of space opera, but grounds them in interesting speculations about physics. It is a war story, but told from the viewpoint of refugees fleeing that conflict. It is a heroic quest, but set in a far future society that travels between stars. It pushes all the emotional buttons, and keeps you on the edge of your seat right up to the last page. If you haven’t read it, consider this article a taste of what you’ve been missing.”
BOOKS, COMICS, AWARDS, ETC
9) Here’s a book for those of you who might want to read some of the older science fiction authors. “Michael Dirda on the evolution of science fiction”
“In the mid-1920s Hugo Gernsback, editor of Amazing Stories, coined the term ‘scientifiction,’ an ugly mouthful that soon morphed into ‘science fiction.’ Before then, speculative novels and stories were loosely referred to as fantasies, romances, future war fiction, adventures in the style of Jules Verne or, as H.G. Wells titled an 1899 collection, “tales of space and time.” Still, the phrase most often used to describe early sf — the preferred abbreviation for this beloved literary genre — is ‘scientific romance.'”
10) “Even Without The Negativity, A Fantastic Four Sequel Would Be Doomed From The Start” by Stuart Conover
“Rumors have been floated that Fox has been looking to work with Marvel on the Fantastic Four in the same way that Sony has for Spider-Man. However, they are just rumors. Not only that but if it were to happen they would likely need to recast everyone once again.”
11) I you like maps in fantasy books, this might interest you. “The 10 Best Maps From Fantasy Books For Readers Who Like To Track Heroes’ Adventures” by Charlotte Ahlin
“I have to be honest with you, dear reader: I, an adult woman, love those maps in the front of fantasy novels. Sorry. I just love them. Give me those little triangle mountains surrounding the ruined Citadel of E’rroth, man. I’m all about it. So if you, like me, are an otherwise reasonable person who geeks out over small line drawings of imaginary nation states, here are some of the best maps from fantasy books.”
12) “Jared Leto Circling Tron Reboot at Disney” by Borys Kit
“Tron was a 1982 Disney movie set in the fantastic world inside a computer program, a cyberspace called the Grid. Starring Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner, the film wasn’t a hit at the time but was influential with its envelope-pushing special effects. It drew a cult following in the years after its release, due to its imaginative story.”
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