All posts for Science Fiction Repair Shop in 2013


On Whitewashing The Future Dept.

The best far-looking SF is always rooted in the conflicts of the moment -- especially the things we think we will someday outgrow.

Fail Upwards Dept.

We need dystopia to know how things can fall apart.

Man of Steel

Man of Steel understands Superman well enough to know he should be taken seriously, even if it doesn't always quite know how to make that understanding real.

Futurism-ism Dept.

The mysticism of the future by way of technology is no improvement over the mysticisms of the past.

Seize The Future, With No Gloves On Dept.

On appreciating the new without wearing the blinders of the old.

Yesterday's Tomorrow, Today! Dept.

E.W. Dijkstra Archive: On the cruelty of really teaching computing science (EWD 1036) The usual way in which we plan today for tomorrow is in yesterday's vocabulary. We do so, because we try to get away with the concepts we...

SF > Tech + Soapbox Dept.

On hard sci-fi being more than just techno-porn interlarded with politics.

Come Sit In My Studebaker Dept.

A car is not just for sitting in, and SF&F aren't just chewing gum for the mind.

Die Tür Ist Zu Dept.

My space opera "... Vajra" has been finally put to bed, and some things have been learned in the process.

No Future For You Dept. (Pt. 1)

What happened to the cool future we all imagined? Maybe it wasn't all of us that imagined it, or wanted it.

O.G.: Original Genre Dept.

How something classifies as "original" for us may be just as arbitrary as whether or not we like it in the first place.

The Avengers

What was it about last year's superhero blockbuster that turned out to be so ... average?

Prefab-o-formula Dreaming Dept.

Isn't it tiresome how so much SF looks like it rolled off the same assembly line?

Worldbuilding? Don't Forget Peoplebuilding, Too Dept.

SF ought to be about people building things. Emphasis on all three of those ingredients.

Not Enough Explanation Disease Dept.

"Too Much Explanation Disease" as it applies to SF and the movies.

Captain, If We Go By The Book Dept.

"... then this movie will seem like every other one. Do you read me?"

What If My Beard Were Made Of Green Spinach? You'll Never Get Anywhere What-Iffing About Like That Dept.

The power of imagination requires grounding.

Sweet Emotion Dept.

On how we love a movie with our guts and hate it with our heads.

Branding Is For Cattle Dept.

SF&F fandom shouldn't be a monolith, from either the outside or the inside.

The Perfect Gateway Drug Dept.

More on the mistaken idea that a given work of SF/fantasy can "convert" the non-fandom masses.

Talking Genre Constriction Blues Dept.

More on why and how SF bottles itself in, unthinkingly.

Revenge of the Nerds Dept.

On the bad rep of SF&F fans.

Reality Is What Doesn't Go Away When You Stop Believing In It Dept.

More about escapism.

Character (Heur)Istics Dept.

My Muse Hack¹ cohort Scott Delahunt posted over at his site about his character creation process, so I thought I'd use that as the excuse I needed to say a few things in that vein. When I was a kid,...

Write Here And Now Dept.

The most fantastic things work best when they are rooted in the most familiar.

Reality ... What A Concept Dept.

On the canard of "Reality is just so interesting, why would you want to escape it?"

That Superior Feeling Dept.

Godhood without humanity: the gains hardly seem worth the degeneracy.

With A Finger In My I Dept.

"I want to live forever." Yes, but which I?

Invisible Hand Around Your Throat Dept.

Art's not about what's sold (again).

Dream A Little Dream (Or A Great Big One) Dept.

More on imagination not just being about making stuff up.

Let's Film The Unfilmable Again Dept.

Some SF books I'd love to see filmed, even if I know the odds are slender.

Clean the Slate Dept.

Should SF be "nuked back to year zero?"

Pacific Who? Dept.

Why Guillermo del Toro's Cthulu-zilla-vangelion film will tank with mainstream audiences.

Classics Not Spoken Here Dept.

Creators have to cultivate a sense of history.

I've Seen The Future (Again) And It (Still) Doesn't Work Dept.

Gadgetry is not futurism.

Waves of the Future Dept.

If SF is "the literature of the future", shouldn't we be using the media of the future to deliver it?

Not A Soul In Sight Dept.

Abhorring a Vacuum | New Republic it is an urgent task of contemporary American fiction, whose characteristic products are books of great self-consciousness with no selves in them; curiously arrested books that know a thousand different things—the recipe for the...

A Defect Of Character Dept.

SF&F's problems with character development are cyclical; we teach ourselves bad habits.

Human After All Dept.

More on how SF should be about a new kind of person, not a new kind of gadget.

Gap Redux Dept.

No, I actually like tech -- with caveats.

The Gap In Our Selves Dept.

SF has hit its limit because we have hit ours.

Old But Not In The Way Dept.

Every movie, every book, is time in a bottle, if only you let yourself see it.

That Shakespearean Rag Dept.

On being the embodiment of your moment in time.

Two Worlds And In Between Dept.

On using SF as an examination of the clashes of spiritual opposites.

Source Code

A little SF masterpiece that proves a small scale doesn't have to mean small ambitions.

No Difference, Except The Feet Are A Little Bit Off The Ground Dept.

Please suspend your disbelief. It'll do us both a world of good.

A New (Old) Hope Dept.

On rewriting Lucas from his own notes: a nifty idea.

Alterfactuality Dept.

On a shelved "alternative present" project that never bloomed, because the idea alone wasn't enough.

In Time

An intriguing SF concept is soon plundered for a mere neo-noir plotline, but save the pieces anyway.

Punk Is Dead (But You Really Should Check Out My Band Sometime) Dept.

Those who say "art form X is dead" really mean to add "except for my works of it."

Golden Era Hindsight Is 20/20 Dept.

It wasn't a golden age when we were in it.

Mansculinity Dept.

Why masculinity in SF&F most often manifests as chest-thumping meatheadedness.

I Opening Dept.

The first step away from earthly vanity is cosmic humility.

Ballard's Ballad Dept.

Why J.G. Ballard didn't write just "SF" or "litfic", but stories for and about our age.

TRON: Legacy

Not great drama or great filmmaking, but it might well be darn good cinema.

Thanks But No Thanks Dept.

J.J. Abrams can have his Star Trek Wars, but include me out.

Prometheus

Ridley Scott's pre-side-quel to the "Alien" mythos has elements of great insight and wisdom coexisting with utter boneheadedness.

Oh So Serious Dept.

Let's not take this business of being serious about our art so ... well, seriously.

If I Were A Bell (But I'm Not, So Ha Ha) Dept.

It's hard to write what you know when you don't let yourself know things.

J.R.R. Pufnstuf Dept.

On the notion that at its worst the filmed version of a book can become the cultural version of littering.

A Mind So Open It Hurts Dept.

"It would be so weird if we knew just as much as we needed to know to answer all the questions of the universe. Wouldn’t that be freaky?"

The Itch That Sticks Out Gets Scratched Down Dept.

Writing what you would most want to read may be the best way to find an audience.

See previous posts from 2012

See future posts from 2014

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