The best far-looking SF is always rooted in the conflicts of the moment -- especially the things we think we will someday outgrow.
We need dystopia to know how things can fall apart.
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.
The mysticism of the future by way of technology is no improvement over the mysticisms of the past.
On appreciating the new without wearing the blinders of the old.
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...
On hard sci-fi being more than just techno-porn interlarded with politics.
A car is not just for sitting in, and SF&F aren't just chewing gum for the mind.
My space opera "... Vajra" has been finally put to bed, and some things have been learned in the process.
What happened to the cool future we all imagined? Maybe it wasn't all of us that imagined it, or wanted it.
How something classifies as "original" for us may be just as arbitrary as whether or not we like it in the first place.
What was it about last year's superhero blockbuster that turned out to be so ... average?
Isn't it tiresome how so much SF looks like it rolled off the same assembly line?
SF ought to be about people building things. Emphasis on all three of those ingredients.
"Too Much Explanation Disease" as it applies to SF and the movies.
"... then this movie will seem like every other one. Do you read me?"
The power of imagination requires grounding.
On how we love a movie with our guts and hate it with our heads.
SF&F fandom shouldn't be a monolith, from either the outside or the inside.
More on the mistaken idea that a given work of SF/fantasy can "convert" the non-fandom masses.
More on why and how SF bottles itself in, unthinkingly.
On the bad rep of SF&F fans.
More about escapism.
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,...
The most fantastic things work best when they are rooted in the most familiar.
On the canard of "Reality is just so interesting, why would you want to escape it?"
Godhood without humanity: the gains hardly seem worth the degeneracy.
"I want to live forever." Yes, but which I?
Art's not about what's sold (again).
More on imagination not just being about making stuff up.
Some SF books I'd love to see filmed, even if I know the odds are slender.
Should SF be "nuked back to year zero?"
Why Guillermo del Toro's Cthulu-zilla-vangelion film will tank with mainstream audiences.
Creators have to cultivate a sense of history.
Gadgetry is not futurism.
If SF is "the literature of the future", shouldn't we be using the media of the future to deliver it?
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...
SF&F's problems with character development are cyclical; we teach ourselves bad habits.
More on how SF should be about a new kind of person, not a new kind of gadget.
No, I actually like tech -- with caveats.
SF has hit its limit because we have hit ours.
Every movie, every book, is time in a bottle, if only you let yourself see it.
On being the embodiment of your moment in time.
On using SF as an examination of the clashes of spiritual opposites.
A little SF masterpiece that proves a small scale doesn't have to mean small ambitions.
Please suspend your disbelief. It'll do us both a world of good.
On rewriting Lucas from his own notes: a nifty idea.
On a shelved "alternative present" project that never bloomed, because the idea alone wasn't enough.
An intriguing SF concept is soon plundered for a mere neo-noir plotline, but save the pieces anyway.
Those who say "art form X is dead" really mean to add "except for my works of it."
It wasn't a golden age when we were in it.
Why masculinity in SF&F most often manifests as chest-thumping meatheadedness.
The first step away from earthly vanity is cosmic humility.
Why J.G. Ballard didn't write just "SF" or "litfic", but stories for and about our age.
Not great drama or great filmmaking, but it might well be darn good cinema.
J.J. Abrams can have his Star Trek Wars, but include me out.
Ridley Scott's pre-side-quel to the "Alien" mythos has elements of great insight and wisdom coexisting with utter boneheadedness.
Let's not take this business of being serious about our art so ... well, seriously.
It's hard to write what you know when you don't let yourself know things.
On the notion that at its worst the filmed version of a book can become the cultural version of littering.
"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?"
Writing what you would most want to read may be the best way to find an audience.
This page contains an archive of posts in the category Science Fiction Repair Shop for the year 2013.
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