Meme Monday 9 – Mood

Gurney Halleck on Mood

I guess this one is kind of a slap in my own face, but I’ve been having trouble finding the mood or the time for writing. So here’s a little Dune for fun… I still love casting Patrick Stewart as what was supposed to be the ugliest man alive…

I think I will probably be a bit yet before I get more writing posts up. My thought is to get myself a bit of a backlog, write a few without needing to post them, and then get them posted. I tried diving in facefirst, and that hasn’t paid off. Now for some caution.

In the mean time, I have re-done my pages on My Writing Projects and My Blogging Projects – representative now of my new projects, and to go along with my new Features page. So I’ll just work on keeping all of that content flowing!

If we were having coffee…

White Chocolate Mocha

But what is the son but an extension of the father? 
-Frank Herbert, Dune

If we were having coffee, I would be having a white chocolate mocha. It’s my favorite, it’s my weakness, it’s my flavor. (The picture above is today’s white mocha.)

It’s not just my drink. It’s my dad’s drink. I always joke that I have his taste buds and, if we were having coffee, I’d probably tell you that… and tell you that I should probably give my dad his taste buds back.

I have a lot of great memories of my dad and I drinking white mochas together, too. We would always try to get them before going to tournaments. We played Warhammer Fantasy together. We would usually be the first ones to a tournament or a con, precisely because we had to leave early enough to stop and get a white mocha. To be ready for the day.

My dad and I played other games together, as well. The original Diablo. Magic: The Gathering. And many other games that we played simultaneously: Baldur’s GateNeverwinter NightsBane of the Cosmic Forge

It was my dad who taught me Dungeons and Dragons. My dad who made me a gamer.

I am reminded of these connections, of the importance of fathers, because I was at a the memorial service for my friends’ dad. He succumbed to ALS, right in the middle of a huge viral campaign around fighting the disease, a massive, modern-age fundraiser.

So if we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my wife and I gave money. That you should too – that it’s a good cause to fight a terrible disease. I’d probably challenge you to take the challenge too.

If We Were Having Coffee is a Feature that a lot of other blogs participate in. I’m joining in as part of the housewarming party for a new blog, Just Gene’O. You can stop on by, and if you like what you see, why not give him a follow? Cheers.

The Science Fiction Film Trifecta

Noah PosterI have been putting thought into doing more in terms of Science Fiction lately. More than anything, I’ve been thinking about doing more with my idea of Science Fiction Today. The idea being, take today’s problems, consider them in a Science Fiction setting, and consider whether we can be working on a solution to a problem in that way. I explained it all in more detail on Comparative Geeks.

This whole line of thought is where I started blogging from. My initial question on my Tumblr was, what would it be like for our presidential candidates (and other politicians) to present their beliefs in a Science Fictional sort of way – to say what they think the future would really look like if we followed their beliefs and plans into the future. I was contemplating writing it myself, but everything I thought of seemed like a Dystopia…

So this brings me around to the title. And some of my thinking is, maybe Science Fiction is doing alright on its own. Maybe it doesn’t need me championing the way it considers and explains the world. Maybe the big ideas I think are important are being shared with the public on a broader scale. My thoughts for this are based on three movies this year, each very different from each other, and all from big-name directors presenting big ideas. So read on for some of my thoughts on NoahLucy, and Interstellar!

Read more of this post

Six Word Saturday 8


I’m thinking about a bit of a shift in my Six Word Saturday posts. I feel like I’ve played this out as an exercise where I’m learning anything. And I’m not really getting feedback from others to help enhance it any more, so I may be doing something similar and soon. Read more of this post

Meme Monday 4

The Spice Must Flow

The best thing to come from the 1984 Dune: “The Spice Must Flow.”

Q – Quotes

QI love quotes. Not going to lie. And I think most people do – whether it’s to show our fandom, or to use the thoughts of others; whether it’s for an academic purpose to support our thoughts, or for an argumentative one to use our opponents’ words against them. Quotes have power.

When it comes to creating fiction, however, or really any sort of writing – can you ever really know what parts are going to be quoted (if any)? Generally that’s not an element under your control. You don’t know whether you’ll be taken out of context, or people will catch a mistake, or catch that one phrase you worked really hard on. Many of the most influential academic papers tend to be ones with an important theory presented or word created or explained – which are often elements that happen early in the set-up of the paper, and rarely as the purpose of the whole paper. But these parts stick, even as the purpose is forgotten.

For fiction writing, I think that the go-to case study when it comes to quotes is Dune by Frank Herbert. In Dune, every chapter begins with a quote from somewhere in the science-fictional universe Herbert created – whether it is a quote from a history book (generally written after the time described in the book), or an ancient (though future for us) proverb, or a cultural proverb, or a quote from one of his characters from a scene we are not presented. There are poems and songs.

Herbert breathed life into this universe, and created one of the most lasting pieces of science fiction – and really the genre-defining work – in part by creating the important quotes of that world. The sorts of things the people would say, or turn to; the research in the world; the arts and writings. And by having these moments outside of the plot, though often enhancing the plot, he showed that this was a universe wholly realized and fleshed-out. He gave it substance.

What is the son but an extension of the father? To quote Dune. Brian Herbert kept this tradition going, and it is interesting to see it continued. It is a fantastic writing exercise and thought experiment. And though it would be hard to include quotes like this in another book without being compared directly to Dune, it would be good to be thinking about it: what sorts of quotes would exist in the world you are creating? Or what quotes would you like your readers to take away? Have those in mind, even if you don’t include them directly in the work!

Oh, and I found this collection of Dune quotes online.

[Edit]: And how could I forget this Dune quotes gem:

The Sunday Re-Blog – Star Trek vs. Star Wars

The last couple of weeks I have reblogged my posts on the definition of Fantasy and of Science Fiction. In this post, I put those definitions to the test!

This is an age-old geeky/nerdy question, as to which is better, or which is what, and I think now I am at a place where I can weigh in. Because both have a huge fandom around them, both have TV shows and movies and different eras and books and video games and… on what grounds do you compare these two worlds?

I have at least one way I would like to compare them. I recently did a post on the definition of Science Fiction – and one on the definition of Fantasy. I am going to be relying heavily on these definitions, as I think that weighing these will show a difference you can discuss between these two series.

Read up on the definitions if you haven’t already, and then let’s compare Star Trek and Star Wars! Read more of this post

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