05 JUN 2017 by ideonexus

 Reading Fiction is to Temporarily Believe Nonsense

The weather bureau will tell you what next Tuesday will be like, and the Rand Corporation will tell you what the twenty-first century will be like. I don't recommend that you turn to the writers of fiction for such information. It's none of their business. All they're trying to do is tell you what they're like, and what you're like—what's going on—what the weather is now, today, this moment, the rain, the sunlight, look! Open your eyes; listen, listen. That is what the novelists say. But ...
Folksonomies: fiction truth lies
Folksonomies: fiction truth lies
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04 APR 2015 by ideonexus

 Literature About Exploration

This is an infinitely marvelous and beautiful universe which we are privileged to inhabit. Look inward to the molecules of life and the heart of the atom, or outward to moon, sun, planets, stars, the Orion Nebula where new suns and worlds are coming into being even as you watch, the Andromeda Nebula which is actually a whole sister galaxy: it is all the same cosmos, and every part of it is part of us. The elements of our flesh, blood, bones, and breath were forged out of hydrogen in stars lon...
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19 JUL 2014 by ideonexus

 Explorocracy / Homo Diaspora

So we’re to be ravaged by speculation and thrill-seekers. We’ll be the wilds. I’ve been to deadwood planets and pioneer towns: even those way stations have their good things. We’ll open up the sky. We’ll have knowledge to sell. Uniquely detailed maps. Immer byways only locals like us can find. We have to establish our credentials as an explorocracy; so to survive and rule ourselves, we have to explore. We’ll soon have one immership in our little navy, and at least one captain. Wh...
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21 APR 2014 by ideonexus

 Realism in "A Song of Ice and Fire"

Game of Thrones takes place in a land that feels somewhat post-apocalyptic — there are occasional glimmers of hints that something really bad might have happened to Westeros long ago, and that's the reason for the irregular and attenuated seasons. But even more than that, we know Westeros is on the brink of a zombie apocalypse from the very first moment of the story. And part of the genius of Martin's slow-as-soil-erosion storytelling is that the zombie threat never quite arrives, but we ke...
Folksonomies: fiction fantasy criticism
Folksonomies: fiction fantasy criticism
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The engaging storytelling is the result of its connection to how the world works with gray characters and glacial problems.

21 APR 2014 by ideonexus

 History in "A Song of Ice and Fire"

In this, the obvious contrast is with the only work of fantasy to compare in terms of ambition and achievement to Martin's own: The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien's Middle-earth, unlike Westeros, is the creation of a dauntingly learned scholar: his ambition was to fashion from the languages, literature and history of the early middle ages an invented mythology that would nevertheless retain the stamp of the period that had inspired it. Martin's approach is infinitely more slapdash. Just as the ch...
Folksonomies: history fiction
Folksonomies: history fiction
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ASOIF contains many references to real history.

18 NOV 2013 by ideonexus

 An Example of the Joy of Hard Science Fiction

If they are going to sink below, then the pressure on the vessel is going to rise as Verne talked about in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. If the pressure on the vessel is going to rise, then it's going to collapse unless the pressure within the vessel rises. So the captain is slowly letting the vessel sink into the Moon dust, while the crew is not letting onto the tourists that anything is wrong, but the pressure is slowly going up. Now just as we don't typically notice the pressure go up or ...
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This example from a Clarke novel illustrates the fun of Hard-SF in how it leaves it up to the reader to figure things out from their scientific literacy.

23 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 What Drives the Mind of a Science Writer?

The design of a book is the pattern of reality controlled and shaped by the mind of the writer. This is completely understood about poetry or fiction, but it is too seldom realized about books of fact. And yet the impulse which drives a man to poetry will send a man into the tide pools and force him to report what he finds there. Why is an expedition to Tibet undertaken, or a sea bottom dredged? Why do men, sitting at the microscope, examine the calcareous plates of a sea cucumber and give th...
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We understand that fictional books are crafted to present a worldview, but we forget the same is true of nonfiction.

02 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Dr. Frankenstein is a Amalgam of Scientists of the Time

The actual writing of Mary’s novel can be followed fairly closely from her journal in Switzerland, and then back in England at Great Marlow on the Thames. What is less clear is where she gathered her ideas and materials from, and how she created her two unforgettable protagonists: Dr Frankenstein and his Creature. One is tempted to say that the Creature – who is paradoxically the most articulate person in the whole novel — was a pure invention of Mary’s genius. But in Victor Frankenst...
Folksonomies: fiction inspiration
Folksonomies: fiction inspiration
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From Shelley's journals.

20 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 There are Fairies of Science in Everything

There are forces around us, and among us, which I shall ask you to allow me to call fairies, and these are ten thousand times more wonderful, more magical, and more beautiful in their work, than those of the old fairy tales. They, too, are invisible, and many people live and die without ever seeing them or caring to see them. These people go about with their eyes shut, either because they will not open them, or because no one has taught them how to see. They fret and worry over their own litt...
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and with patient observation, we can see them.

20 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 Nature's Stories are More Amazing than Human Stories

“I approve of your wanting true stories,” said he. “You will find in them at the same time the marvelous, which pleases so much at your age, and also the useful, with which even at your age you must concern yourselves, in preparation for after life. Believe me, a true story is much more interesting than a tale in which ogres smell fresh blood and fairies change pumpkins into carriages and lizards into lackeys. And could it be otherwise? Compared with truth, fiction is but a pitiful trif...
Folksonomies: nature science fiction inquiry
Folksonomies: nature science fiction inquiry
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One is the work of god, the other the work of man.