Search found 380 matches

by Windwalker
Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:16 pm
Forum: Musings and Chats
Topic: But why is it snowing again?
Replies: 13
Views: 58770

...venerable tomes as The Incalculability of Hermeneutics as Valorized by the Face on Mars and Trance Channel Atlantian Super-Beings in Three Easy Steps. Actually, we should write these books. We'd become instant millionaires, buy half of New Zealand and retire in the style to which we could easily...
by Windwalker
Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:08 pm
Forum: Musings and Chats
Topic: But why is it snowing again?
Replies: 13
Views: 58770

Re: But why is it snowing again?

March 7, three inches and still accumulating. Could Graham Hancock be right? Maybe the aliens that watch us have decided the time has come for more "flash frozen" mammoths! For those who don't know of Graham Hancock: he's a lover of pseudo-mysteries and faux conspiracies, like Edgar Cayce (of Atlan...
by Windwalker
Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:40 am
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Many Little Dimensions or One Big One?
Replies: 41
Views: 174723

Celestial music

Dear Larry, welcome to the forum! I met Larry (Walden2) when I gave a talk about my Star Trek book to the Boston Chapter of the National Space Society. As you can tell from the article he just posted, Larry is very knowledgeable about physics, astrophysics and, like all of us here, in love with spac...
by Windwalker
Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:13 pm
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: Cyberpunk, the new generation
Replies: 19
Views: 96576

Cyberpunk, the new generation

I am generally not enamored of cyberpunk but two of my favorite SF authors fall solidly in the subgenre: Melissa Scott and Richard Morgan. I will discuss each at a bit more length in subsequent posts. In a soundbite, both address the fascinating questions of uploading, downloading, true artificial i...
by Windwalker
Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:59 pm
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: Ben Bova - anything
Replies: 2
Views: 25707

I'm embarassed to say that I haven't read anything by Ben Bova, although I'm very much aware of him as a stalwart presence in SF.
by Windwalker
Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:56 pm
Forum: Musings and Chats
Topic: Welcome, travelers
Replies: 25
Views: 118943

Aristotelians

That said, I do find metaphysical concepts (whether from a good song, or from someone's "holy" book) to be useful in understanding what it is to be human and for that matter an engineer and student of science. Not a guide for those things, but useful in understanding them - almost in a role-playing...
by Windwalker
Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:25 pm
Forum: Musings and Chats
Topic: Welcome, travelers
Replies: 25
Views: 118943

Using unfamiliar and obscure ideas, e.g., from science, completely defeats the purpose of metaphor and analogy. (Why, then, does this practice persist? Easy: because science is perceived as being magically powerful. By using science analogies, people are hoping to invoke that power of science for t...
by Windwalker
Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:33 pm
Forum: The Art of Science, Fantasy and Science Fiction
Topic: Science art
Replies: 3
Views: 30217

The other end of the spectrum

Then, of course, we have Edward Gorey who was mordantly, morbidly witty and as gothic as James O"Barr of Crow fame. Harvard Magazine recently had a neat summation of Gorey's life with an absolutely wonderful picture (especially for cat lovers). Here's the link:

Gorey, brief bio
by Windwalker
Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:29 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: The science and the fiction in science fiction
Replies: 12
Views: 64759

Science, religion and paranormal abilities

As a scientist and a writer, I come up constantly against the question of paranormal abilities, which invariably tie to the mind/body dualism, the issue of agency, theories of mind, etc. The New York Times had a essay yesterday that touches on all these matters and presents a very good picture of wh...
by Windwalker
Sun Mar 04, 2007 1:57 pm
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: Science fiction/fantasy film recommendations
Replies: 21
Views: 126904

The banality of evil

As people and writers, we constantly consider the question of evil. Recently, we discussed science fiction novels by John Harrison, Jay Lake and Iain Banks that prominently feature serial killers and/or torturers,. The decision to showcase such characters is partly the wish of contemporary writers t...
by Windwalker
Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:53 am
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: Fantasy universes and worlds
Replies: 40
Views: 171671

The two aspects of Iain Banks

Oddly enough, I discovered Banks in his other guise, when I read his first book (The Wasp Factory, a gothic mystery). Then I found out he also wrote SF, and investigated. In SF he's written seven Culture works (six novels, one story collection) plus three non-Culture, The Algebraist among them. His ...
by Windwalker
Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:34 pm
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: Fantasy universes and worlds
Replies: 40
Views: 171671

Since he got this sentence past his editor, he has a right to flaunt it! I find it amusing, and you can follow it just fine, it's rather linear (in any case, the only parts that matter are the characters' names and the way the Archimandrite treated his adversary). I agree that it's Douglas-Adamesque...
by Windwalker
Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:10 pm
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: Fantasy universes and worlds
Replies: 40
Views: 171671

The lazy part was a reference to his cheating in terms of explaining concepts in his SF novels. Still, his Culture is a very interesting creation. I read the first three in the series (Consider Phlebas, The Player of Games and Use of Weapons). I liked the fact that it is a benign culture of abundanc...
by Windwalker
Sat Mar 03, 2007 10:53 pm
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: Fantasy universes and worlds
Replies: 40
Views: 171671

Banks in seriousness and jest

You can never tell with Banks! I think he is famous and relaxed enough to do a lot of "in your face" writing. He also cheats a fair bit in his SF writing. But those who like his work (and I'm among them) are apt to cut him a considerable amount of slack, until/unless he gets too lazy.
by Windwalker
Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:23 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: The science and the fiction in science fiction
Replies: 12
Views: 64759

Re: The science and the fiction in science fiction

I'll finish with the basic slogan from my class: Science is not mythology, but it is often treated by the public at large as if it were mythology. Science Fiction then is the literature that deals directly with science as a mythic language. Your whole post (its concluding statement in particular) h...