Saturday, November 13, 2010

Doctor Who

I eagerly await December 1st when we will watch Doctor Who together.

As I recently was a newcomer to Doctor Who, I have watched a lot of the newer series, and I feel that it might be a little hard to be thrown into only 2 episodes. Thus, I've included the official BBC Doctor Who website in the title. A lot of the material is from the current season with a different actor than the one we will be watching playing the Doctor. However, its still got a lot of fun things to play around with.

Friday, November 12, 2010


I recently came across this book on Amazon, and I wasn't sure if anyone had read or heard anything about it worth sharing. It says it is a debut novel and falls into scifi and horror genres. It is set in an America where for the past few decades demon possession has become more and more common, but the demons are something like comic book characters rather than what we normally would think of as a demon. At some point, scifi writer Philip K. Dick is possessed, and the main character has been possessed since he was a child. It sounds strange but definitely has me intrigued.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Like many, I was dissatisfied with the way that the novel ended. In response I thought that I would link you to an awesome short Scifi film: The Cathedral. It is a beautiful adaption of a 21st century short story by the Polish author Jacek Dukaj. It does not disappoint.


Well folks, I think that's the title of my novel for this year's NaNoWriMo.
And because I'm doing a verrry science fiction story, I need you guys' help!
I'm really just having fun with this, and trying to throw in as many overused
science fiction tropes as possible... But also make a cool story out of it by throwing
in my own stuff. So far, I've got aliens, portals to other dimensions, a shapeshifter,
someone who can manipulate dreams, space pirates (kind of), a black market situation
on one of the moons of Jupiter, and the "Paragon," a mysterious power source
stronger than anything else in the known universe. My heroes are trying to stop the
Paragon from falling into the hands of an evil megalomaniac from another dimension.
What else could I possibly include? haha

It's the Little Things

Because I did not like the last few parts of River of Gods, I am choosing to ignore them. I really liked the story up until a certain point. I thought Ian McDonald did an amazing job of bringing together all the seemingly random stories. His characters were interesting (I especially liked Mr. Nandha) and even though this book is huge, it didn't feel like it took too long to read. For me,however, the book ended before it got really crazy, so I have chosen to replace memories of the actual ending with this article from (linked in the title) about science fiction. Oh the internet.


Was anyone else horribly disappointed by the end of the story? What is the mysterious alien artifact that appeared in the sky? Why, it's a Boltzmann Brain. Was it put there by aliens? No, by our artificial descendants who escaped into an alternate reality where time moved backwards, and who managed to control the collapse of their universe so that all of their knowledge managed to be preserved in a giant stone of knowledge and send back to our universe (somehow, even though they're dead now and their universe IS the giant stone of knowledge). What a serious case of deus et machina. I guess that's fitting, given the title, but I feel it ruined an other wise well thought out novel.

So, in other news, I'm sure y'all know that the last shuttle launch is coming up soon. I'm personally excited that it's been delayed three weeks, that way I'll be home in Florida for the sonic boom. Apparently, they're sending a Robonaut into space this time. His name is R2 (I'm thinking he needs a friend named D2). They're going to have him do boring and dangerous things, if the testing goes well. Eventually, they might even send him to Mars.


The aeais in River of Gods reminded me of the comic Supergod by Warren Ellis. The plot of Supergod is...mostly irrelevant to River of Gods, except that in the comic, India manages to create a living god in the form of a cloned, cyborg Krishna. Krishna-bot evolves beyond its expected parameters and exterminates a large number of Indians and then nukes Pakistan. So, both stories feature divine beings created by humans that eventually turn rogue (although in Brahma's case it's less apocalypsy). I recommend everyone reads the first issue, at least, because it's pretty interesting and it dwells on similar ideas about super/nonhuman psychology as River of Gods.

Update: River of Gods was published about five years before Supergod came out, so there is a decent chance that Ellis had read it.

The Laws of Science Fiction

I present another thing that I found on the internet! This one is a little more serious: a collection of laws developed from and about science fiction. Check it out (link's in the title).

I also present, for your consideration, Steampunk Iron Man . Yes, it really is that awesome.

Still watching The Walking Dead, and it is still aiming to please. A little predictable and a little goofy, but still fun and entertaining. It is not too late to get into it (only 2 episodes so far)!

Right, and a little about River of Gods: I really like this book. It is pretty dense and complex and everything, but I'm still enjoying it. I feel like I connect to these characters way better than I did with anyone in The Windup Girl. Kinda sad this is our last novel.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Armies of Robots!

So this is gonna be short, but I just found this link while I was at in the technology section. It basically talks about the fact that the Naval Research Laboratory is developing robots that may eventually be used to fight wars for humans who want to "avoid the messiness that combat entails." The actual link to the (short) article is in the title.
I actually find this really interesting. What do you guys think? Would this be a better alternative to the way wars are fought now? Less bloodshed is always good, but it seems like it could lead to even bigger problems.


I have mentioned in class before that I enjoy reading graphic novels and last week I picked up the graphic novel, Kick-Ass. I watched the movie before reading the graphic novel and I was surprised on how much changed between the graphic novel and the movie adaptation. The difference that really surprised me is how the story ended. In the movie, Kick-Ass ends up with the girl and his life is much better compared to the beginning of the story. However, in the graphic novel, Kick-Ass doesn't get the girl. In fact, his love interest's boyfriend beats the hell out of him at the end. He just goes back to being a loser. What the hell? Why would someone end a story like that?

The Crazies

So the other night I watched the fairly new movie "The Crazies", and I was actually rather impressed with parts of it. Mainly, it was the closest anything has ever come to portraying a realistic version of a zombie outbreak. The cause is a military plane carrying biological warfare agents that crashes into the town's water supply. People drink it and get infected and sicken and end up as murderous zombie creatures. Here's what I thought made it more realistic though: first off, the zombies aren't actually dead while they're running around attacking people, they're just really disgusting and dripping blood out of their noses. I know that goes against most traditional zombie depictions, but seriously, if some sort of outbreak like that happened, it would be the still living sick people chasing us and not their reanimated corpses. Also, the way that it altered their mental state and behavior seemed more realistic to me. They remembered their past,were cognitive, and could still speak. The illness seemed to target specific parts of the brain, namely the parts that control the conscience and rage. Instead of them being mindless killing machines whose brains had turned to mush, they ended up acting like people with a form of psychopathy and elevated levels of rage. Way more realistic to me.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

River of Gods Vernacular

So I am nearing the end of this imposing thick novel, and something just became apparent to me. At first, I know I just sort of read over this and didn't dwell much on it but now I'm fascinated. Has anyone noticed the vernacualr/slang used for certain words, people, etc.? Words like "noo" (for new) and "clowthz" "holidaze" "Grrls" "Boyz". What seems to be interesting is that McDonald only uses these words in certain places, and since I've really just begun to notice I'm wondering if this is meant to be a representation of the younger generations/items etc in the story or what. I know that I can recall Najia and Tal using these phrases, and Shiv referred to "grrls" and "boyz."
It sort of cracks me up because it reminds me of those goofy kitten posters on fb and whatnot that say things like "rap kittenz rapz 4 cheezburgerz" Haha. Just wondering if anyone else got a rise out of this. I'm really hoping that McDonald isn't making some statement about our generations' susceptablity and making a predicition that these words will be common use in language in the near future.

Paper 2

So I know this is a little early, but I came up with my paper topic shortly after we read Boneshaker. It just came to me and I think I can make it work. As a history major, the fact that Priest used alternate history in her book fascinated me. So what I plan on writing on is the use of alternate history in Boneshaker. Questions to ponder:

Why use alternate history?
What's the point?
Would the story be affected greatly if Priest didn't mention the extended Civil War?
What other science fiction pieces and to what ends?
Is alternate history a characteristic of steam punk (since it's set in the Victorian Age)?
Is the extended Civil War the only aspect of alternate history in the novel?

Suggestions? Comments? Criticisms? Funny jokes for the day? All would be greatly appreciated.