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unaffectedscorn / collective / tags / science fiction

Tagged with “science fiction” (264)

  1. 1977

    It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire … Before those words crawled up movie screens in May 1977, what did people think the future was going to look like? What did pop culture sound like on the eve of Star Wars? With Kurt Andersen, Annalee Newitz, Alyssa Rosenberg, and Chris Taylor. This is part I of a V part series. 

    http://www.imaginaryworldspodcast.org/1977.html

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  2. Our Postmodern Myth: “Star Wars” is Back - Open Source with Christopher Lydon

    Our Postmodern Myth: “Star Wars” is Back

    There’s a big old spoiler alert hanging over this whole radio show. You’ve been warned!

    We’re beginning 2016 by confronting what is already its biggest cultural phenomenon. The Force Awakens, the latest installment of Star Wars, on track to make $3 billion and more around the world.

    What does it mean that this particular, high-capital story survives as a global dream? And maybe the most familiar alternate universe ever created outside a world religion: a Greek pantheon for the modern day?

    Star Wars is full of paradoxes: it’s profoundly flat; imperial filmmaking in celebration of rebels and saboteurs; a forty-year-old hit that remains forever young. The essayist Chuck Klosterman proposes to nationalize Star Wars, turning the franchise into a lucrative public works project for the nation’s out-of-work actors, set dressers, and engineers. (It’s “the only thing America does that everybody likes.”) And our guest Amanda Palmer tells us it was a geek movie that never seemed that geeky, as well as a violent movie that never seemed that violent. In the end, George Lucas‘s creation must have approval numbers that popes and politicians could only dream of.

    Why does Star Wars still mean so much to so many? With a group of our favorite people, we’re counting the ways (with special thanks to Eric Molinsky, host and producer of Imaginary Worlds, who did a five-part series on the cultural significance on the franchise — listen here):   

    It’s a postmodern myth.

    There’s a moment in the original Star Wars, when Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill, looks out at the horizon as dusty Tatooine’s two suns set.

    There are no words, but John Williams’s score is working overtime, sounding the note of potential energy: a young person with gifts and a great destiny who’s still just wishing he were anywhere but here. Almost anyone can imagine himself standing on that bluff and watching the sun(s) go down.

    Watch that scene (you have permission to find it corny!) But it’s also got the mystery of Star Wars’s eternal appeal packed into just 36 seconds: another orchestrated, saturated, uncanny image for all time, conjuring not just before — Achilles, Lancelot, and Dante — but after: Spider-Man, the X-Men, Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen and most recently, Rey, the Skywalker stand-in for the latest film.

    It’s (almost) a silent film.Speaking of which, George Lucas always put a lot of stock in the power of Star Wars‘s score and images to get along on their own. So in 1977, he anticipated the globalizing trend that’d hit Hollywood decades later — a move away from repartee and puns and into a world of spectacle and SFX. Watch Star Wars work like a silent film in the famous throne-room finale, in the last scene of the new movie, and in that “I am your father” confrontation:

    It’s a theology for the post-religious — and a political shorthand.

    Yes, there are thousands of people all over the world to check “Jedi Knight” on census forms just to scramble the religious picture of the 21st century. And “The Dark Side” has become a shorthand in politics to be embraced by Dick Cheney and shunned by Larry Lucchino, the outgoing Red Sox president who once labeled the Yankees “The Evil Empire.”

    But there’s something a little deeper and more peculiar in the vague cosmology of “The Force” put forward in the movies: a balance between emotional attachments and inner peace, between individualism and teamwork, between self-interest and philanthropy, that speaks to the unique spiritual drift of the 20th-century consumer.

    It’s a product of the depressed ‘70s — but it still works the same way.

    Alan Andres reminds us that those first movies opened during American doldrum days, with bad news everywhere in the ether: the Fall of Saigon, Watergate, the fall of Skylab, the Church Committee, Chappaquiddick, and the Iran hostage crisis. The tone of sci-fi was suitably dark: Soylent Green is people! We were a rebel nation that had come to seem like an evil empire (until Reagan came along and declared that the Soviets were the real imperial enemy).

    It may be true that, more than anything, George Lucas wanted to offer a generation of young Americans a different, optimistic story with a batch of good role models in tow. But still he had The Emperor — the bad guy of all Star Wars bad guys — sit in an oval-shaped throne room: Nixon, determined to crush the latest guerrilla uprising.

    It’s militaristic.

    Somehow, underneath the swashbuckling escapes and screwball dialogue, people forget that in Star Wars, the viewer really can’t root for anyone who doesn’t commit mass murder.

    The Empire blows up Alderaan with a weapon known as the Death Star in order to quash organized resistance. But then the heroic Rebels blow up the planet-sized Death Star — along with, it is estimated (!), 843,342 souls in the crew and staff — to stick it to the Empire.

    And that’s just a start! Tell us what Star Wars means to you (and may the Force be with you all in 2016)!

    http://radioopensource.org/our-postmodern-myth/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  3. Ep 38: The Future of Science Fiction, Part 3: Charles Stross

    In this thought-provoking episode we tackle the future of AI, the singularity, racism in science fiction, space opera, and so much more. An interview with Charles Stross. Music: Kevin MacLeod. Blind Panels is the inclusive geek podcast. It’s created by Comics Empower, the comic book store for the blind and the visually impaired. Check it out: ComicsEmpower.com

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    Original video: https://soundcloud.com/user-817263528/ep-38-the-future-of-science-fiction-part-3charles-stross
    Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/ on Wed, 24 Aug 2016 15:47:52 GMT Available for 30 days after download

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  4. The Coode Street Podcast: William Gibson

    Welcome to The Coode Street Podcast, an informal weekly discussion about science fiction and fantasy featuring award-winning critics and editors Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe. The Coode Street Podcast debuted in 2010 and has been nominated for the Hugo, British Science Fiction, and Aurealis awards.

    This week Jonathan and Gary talk to old friend Eileen Gunn, along with Chris Brown, and very special guest William Gibson, in a discussion that ranges from William’s recent novel The Peripheral to the influences of writers as diverse as Mervyn Peake, Philip K. Dick, Alfred Bester, and Avram Davidson and the question of what it means to write in and out of genre. We hope you find it as interesting as we all did recording it.

    http://www.tor.com/2015/02/10/coode-street-podcast-episode-220-william-gibson/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  5. The Coode Street Podcast Episode 245: Ian McDonald | Tor.com

    Welcome to The Coode Street Podcast, an informal weekly discussion about science fiction and fantasy featuring award-winning critics and editors Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe. The Coode Street Podcast debuted in 2010 and has been nominated for the Hugo, British Science Fiction, and Aurealis awards.

    In a recent interview with Locus, Hugo and Campbell Award-winning author Ian McDonald discussed his new hard SF novel, Luna: New Moon:

    ‘My next books are Luna parts one and two, a duology set on a moon base—Game of Domes. In the Luna books, I’m still writing about developing economies, it’s just that this one happens to be on the moon, about 2089. It was basically Gary K. Wolfe who was responsible for it. On an ancient Coode Street podcast about invigorating stale subgenres in science fiction, he said he’d love to see a new take on the moonbase story. I don’t know why, but I’ve always loved moon stories. […] My book is Dallas on the moon, so it’s got five big industrial family corps on the moon, called the five dragons, and it’s about their intrigues and battles.”

    Given Coode Street’s part in the history of Luna (see episode 72), we decided to invite Ian, a long-time friend of the podcast, back to discuss the new novel, his writing, and much more.

    http://www.tor.com/2015/08/17/the-coode-street-podcast-episode-245-ian-mcdonald/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  6. The Coode Street Podcast Episode 238: Kim Stanley Robinson | Tor.com

    Welcome to The Coode Street Podcast, an informal weekly discussion about science fiction and fantasy featuring award-winning critics and editors Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe. The Coode Street Podcast debuted in 2010 and has been nominated for the Hugo, British Science Fiction, and Aurealis awards.

    This week we are joined by Hugo and Nebula Award winning writer Kim Stanley Robinson to discuss generation starships, how we might live in space, how space opera is becoming a subset of fantasy and his exciting new novel Aurora—due July 7 from Orbit. We are delighted to be able to present what is one of the first major discussions about this extraordinary new novel, which we think will prove to be one of the standout SF novels of 2015.

    http://www.tor.com/2015/06/29/the-coode-street-podcast-episode-238-kim-stanley-robinson/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  7. Midnight in Karachi Episode 12: Emily St. John Mandel | Tor.com

    Welcome back to Midnight in Karachi, a bi-weekly podcast about writers, publishers, editors, illustrators, their books and the worlds they create, hosted by Mahvesh Murad.

    This week, Clarke award winner Emily St. John Mandel joins Mahvesh to talk about Station Eleven, which bits of the apocalypse interest her, Shakespeare, and reading voraciously as a child. And on the Under the Radar segment, Mahvesh speaks with Will Wiles, writer of the acclaimed Care of Wooden Floors and the Kitschie nominated The Way Inn about the modern gothic, creepy hotels and Ballard.

    http://www.tor.com/2015/05/07/midnight-in-karachi-episode-12-emily-st-john-mandel/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  8. Midnight in Karachi, Episode 7: Monica Byrne | Tor.com

    Welcome back to Midnight in Karachi, a bi-weekly podcast about writers, publishers, editors, illustrators, their books and the worlds they create, hosted by Mahvesh Murad.

    This week’s podcast features Monica Byrne, whose debut novel The Girl in the Road has been featured on a number of Best of 2014 lists and has just been nominated for The Kitschies Golden Tentacle award. Mahvesh talks to Monica about diversity in fiction, the blurred genre that is both SF and ‘literary’ fiction, writing from privilege, and travelling the world.

    http://www.tor.com/2015/02/19/midnight-in-karachi-episode-7-monica-byrne/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  9. Midnight in Karachi Episode 57: Margaret Atwood | Tor.com

    Welcome back to Midnight in Karachi, a weekly podcast about writers, publishers, editors, illustrators, their books and the worlds they create, hosted by Mahvesh Murad.

    The podcast returns this week with an interview with Margaret Atwood, in which she talks with Mahvesh about monsters, myths, wise old women, wicked witches, why everyone isn’t collectively freaking out about climate change and the potentials of eating cloned celebrity flesh.

    http://www.tor.com/2016/08/04/midnight-in-karachi-episode-57-margaret-atwood/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  10. Neal Stephenson, “Seveneves”

    Neil Stephenson’s novels, including The Baroque Trilogy and Reamde, are a dazzling blend of imagination and science, philosophy and history. His new novel, SEVENEVES, starts with the end of the world. This epic follows the descendants of the exiled Earthlings to their new outpost at the far reaches of the cosmos. The population grows, divides into seven races and ultimately returns to the long-abandoned home, which is unlike anything they have previously experienced.

    Founded by Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade in 1984, Politics & Prose Bookstore is Washington, D.C.’s premier independent bookstore and cultural hub, a gathering place for people interested in reading and discussing books. Politics & Prose offers superior service, unusual book choices, and a haven for book lovers in the store and online. Visit them on the web at http://www.politics-prose.com/

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    Original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIHF6vDv8AE
    Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/ on Mon, 25 Jul 2016 21:27:07 GMT Available for 30 days after download

    —Huffduffed by adactio

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