Search found 380 matches

by Windwalker
Sat Feb 03, 2007 1:30 pm
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: Trial of Flowers by Jay Lake
Replies: 2
Views: 28663

I made a more general reply in the Musings section, but here I wanted to touch upon the matter of torture. Again, please keep in mind I haven't read Trial of Flowers , but I have read a few books where torture is graphically depicted. The one I can never forget is the factual description of an impal...
by Windwalker
Sat Feb 03, 2007 12:59 pm
Forum: Musings and Chats
Topic: What do it mean?
Replies: 3
Views: 28045

That has happened to me, too -- a few times with authors whom I know, which makes the situation difficult. I used to read every book to the end. These days, to save time, brainspace and emotional tear, I stop reading the moment I find my jaw clenching (don't want to crack them fillings!). Sometimes ...
by Windwalker
Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:26 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: The science and the fiction in science fiction
Replies: 12
Views: 71645

Indeed -- plot, characters, ideas are indispensable, gadgets are not. There is also a danger in showing science too clearly in SF: it can quickly become dated and quaint. "Softer" SF ages much more gracefully.

Lovely avatar, by the way!
by Windwalker
Fri Feb 02, 2007 4:43 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Where Have All the Spacemen Gone? Part 3
Replies: 15
Views: 93832

The Galantai scheme

Very interesting indeed, and not just in view of our recent conversations. Definitely a valid classification, and a less "aggressive" one than Kardashev's. In a way, it is based on defense and stewarding of resources, rather than use of resources.
by Windwalker
Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:52 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: The science and the fiction in science fiction
Replies: 12
Views: 71645

The science and the fiction in science fiction

I have two friends, both published SF writers. One insists that the science in SF has to be right, once the postulates have been set. The other believes that the story has to carry the day, although the science must be as sound as possible. This division between hard and soft SF, with all its stereo...
by Windwalker
Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:31 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Where Have All the Spacemen Gone? Part 3
Replies: 15
Views: 93832

Parameters

Carbon based life with an H2O substrate will have some parameters, correct? You'd be surprised! Just look at the variety of life on earth and count the lifeforms that became extinct during several cycles, each claiming 90% of that era's flora and fauna. You can tell that even here, where everything...
by Windwalker
Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:57 am
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Where Have All the Spacemen Gone? Part 3
Replies: 15
Views: 93832

I'd love to see a bibliography on the subject. // It's an amazing thing really - to discuss, scientifically, a subject with so many unknowns. But Biology as a discipline should be able to give us at least an educated guess - or am I wrong? No, alas, we're not even close. I fervently wish we could! ...
by Windwalker
Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:14 am
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Where Have All the Spacemen Gone? Part 3
Replies: 15
Views: 93832

Values across a manifold

There's no doubt that both biology and culture would play a role in how extraterrestrials behaved in general and towards other sentients in particular. For example, if they were optimized for floating in Jupiter's upper atmosphere they wouldn't share much with us in any dimension. SF stories have be...
by Windwalker
Wed Jan 31, 2007 9:06 pm
Forum: The Art of Science, Fantasy and Science Fiction
Topic: Additions to the Gallery albums
Replies: 16
Views: 98225

Additions to the Gallery albums

I never get tired of looking at Kathryn, Heather and Josh's art in the gallery -- including preliminary sketches and comps, which I enjoy almost as much as the finished works. So I was very happy to see that Heather added a preliminary study of Healing - Full Circle, her first work for the Embers un...
by Windwalker
Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:03 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Where Have All the Spacemen Gone? Part 3
Replies: 15
Views: 93832

Smoke and Mirrors

The first two possibilities again hinge on a basic similarity (of biology and motives) between us and the observers. Brin’s Crystal Sphere idea is clearly a fusion of the Ptolemean entities of the same name and the Dyson spheres, postulated by Dyson as a method to harvest energy by Kardashev II civi...
by Windwalker
Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:21 pm
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: Mervyn Peake and Mannerpunk
Replies: 5
Views: 38777

The Gormenghast trilogy

The Gormenghast trilogy is tremendous, although I think the first two books are better than the third. I loved the atmospherics, the language, the characters, especially Titus' doomed sister. And it contains one of my favorite lines in all of literature: "For lust is an arrogant and haughty beast, a...
by Windwalker
Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:18 pm
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: Fantasy universes and worlds
Replies: 40
Views: 193563

Fantasy universes and worlds

Ursula Le Guin's second fantasy universe Le Guin developed the Hainish universe in science fiction and the Earthsea trilogy in fantasy -- and in the last few years she dreamed yet another universe. This is "low" fantasy, so in terms of atmosphere it hovers between Earthsea and her real-world fiction...
by Windwalker
Mon Jan 29, 2007 12:34 am
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: Movies and Representing History: The Case of "300"
Replies: 20
Views: 106890

"What Made Alexander Great"

On the topic of Alexander, there is a tremendous essay by Christopher Hitchens in Slate magazine, which says it all very succinctly:

http://www.slate.com/id/2110188/
by Windwalker
Sun Jan 28, 2007 1:17 pm
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: Movies and Representing History: The Case of "300"
Replies: 20
Views: 106890

Homeric translations

I think that the best translations of both Homeric epics in English are by Robert Fagles (he did them in the last decade). They retain the sinew and muscle of the original without sounding stilted, and they have great general introductions by Bernard Knox. They came out as Penguin Classics, so they ...
by Windwalker
Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:38 am
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: Movies and Representing History: The Case of "300"
Replies: 20
Views: 106890

Films and accuracy

Dear Eloise, first of all, lovely avatar! I agree with your views on both Troy (I liked Sean Bean's Odysseus and, oddly, I found myself liking Pitt's Achilles) and Alexander: indeed, he was dangerously mad in the last few years of his life. The specific fixations with his parents weren't that far fr...