Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

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I love the Mandela Effect. It’s essentially been around for longer than I’ve been alive, but it only got the name we now more commonly know it by in the last few decades. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it’s the belief by some that a false memory they and others share is, in fact, a real memory and proof that the timeline has changed or people have unknowingly slipped over into a parallel dimension with only small differences when compared to theirs. Oh, and in the case of the timeline thing, only they remember the other timeline.

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Harlan

That was a name you could say in many circles without having to add the last name, and no one wondered which Harlan you were talking about. If you brought up that name in literary circles, science fiction circles, or convention panels, almost everyone who had been around for longer than a cup of coffee knew you were talking about Harlan Ellison.

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Harlan Ellison (1934-2018)

Posted: June 28, 2018 in Fiction, Life
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It’s #AlienDay

From time to time, the timeline of cinema history has giant red lines etched into it that separate eras. There are the way things were or were expected to be before that point in time/event and then the way things were or were expected to be after that point in time/event. For science fiction cinema, the 1970s had two huge red lines etched into its timeline that changed the way we expected big budget science fiction to look on screen.

One of those lines came in 1977 with Star Wars. Star Wars brought on entire new expectations with regards to what science fiction on the big screen would look like. But, for as much as some people talk about the dirty, used, lived in look of the technology in Star Wars, the real impact Star Wars had was the work ILM did with both the FX work and in how some of that FX work was shot. The world of Star Wars may have been dirtier and more dog-eared than the world of 2001: A Space Odyssey just shy of a decade before it, but many of the visuals of the one could have easily felt at home in the other. Then the other red line in cinema’s timeline came along in 1979, and that red line, the movie Alien, changed the way we expected science fiction on the big screen to look in more ways than one.

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Thoughts about Jessica Jones, WrestleMania, and Black Lightning.

Technology was always going to make our lives better and make our sometimes-limited leisure time more enjoyable. At least that was always the point- when dealing with this specific form of technology -of so many of the little throwaway scenes in so much science fiction over the decades. The machines around us were in their way going to grow smarter, and thus they would be able to serve us in ways people could only imagine experiencing until recent years. One of the ways they would do this was by analyzing the things we regularly liked to hear or see or do and find similar things to that to expose us to when we asked for something to hear or see or do. 

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I’m a fan of horror movies. That’s the understated way of saying it. I’m also, of course, a fan of other genres. But, yeah, I tend to really enjoy horror, science fiction, and fantasy. You could also throw superhero into that list, but I’ve always considered that just fantasy with a sometimes small twist of science fiction mixed in and given a new coat of paint. After all, as has been pointed out by others, some modern superhero storytelling is essentially just the modern evolution of the tradition of the telling of ancient myth stories.

I’m also the type of geek who has always loved to learn about the ‘why’ of the things I enjoyed. When it comes to these genres. I would never compare myself to an academic or a historian when it comes to the level of knowledge I have about the ins and outs of the history of the genres across the various mediums or how the genres can be used to tell very meaningful human stories in disguise. However, I do try to learn as much as I can about these things. As such, I think I’m in a good position to be able to say that stories have been told and still can be told in these genres that rise above the level of disposable entertainment. Indeed, all of those genres have been used to tell stories that have touched on important social commentary, made huge political statements, addressed the human condition, and even ventured into the realm of the deeply philosophical. They’ve also all been able to and still can produce absolute classics of storytelling.

Apparently, having the opinion that some of these genres are capable of this kind of thing has me not only on the other side of a debate with many in the mainstream of American pop culture these days, but also with some in fandom who somehow or another claim they love some of these same genres I do. 

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