Interview with Dana Schoel: A Sense of Freedom!

Dana Schoel is a Montreal-based writer working in film, television, and print. He won a Canadian Screen Award for his documentary work about the Inuit and worked with Chad McQueen (son of Steve McQueen) on a Netflix biopic. His short film The Fantastic Bus is one part a poignant snapshot of childhood, full of idealism for a father, preternaturally strong and full of life, the embodiment of all authority through the eyes of his son. Fantastic Bus is also one part an adult's reckoning with the weakness of his parents, with their aging, with the knowledge that they were never perfect but were doing the best they could with what they had. Dana recently spent some time with Rapid Transmission and, for the record, Andy Weir is the SF writer, Peter Weir is the talented auteur. 

Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut

Like everyone else ever, I had never heard of Kurt Vonnegut until college. I took a contemporary American literature course my freshman year and a student chose to write on the book for his term paper. He linked the Tralfamadorians to Italians, arguing that the circus/zoo exhibit that the Tralfamadorians place Billy Pilgrim in is analogous to Vonnegut's captivity in Dresden. Since Italians were part of the Axis powers, the Tralfamadorians read as hostile. Pilgrim's detention is not purely for the sake of providing an interesting exhibit, it is a way to demonstrate the Tralfamadorians' superiority over an alien species--and thus it resonates with Mussolini's and Hitler's ethno-nationalistic argument for a manifesto of race and master race, respectively.

Best Science Fiction Books 101-200

Cover of Iain Banks Use of Weapons

One thing to note is that while I didn't put short story compilations in
the top 100, I've placed them in this list of the next hundred best sci-fi

Ernest Cline - Ready Player Two Review

Ready Player Two is fan-fic of '80s and '90s culture along with fan-fic of Ready Player One. The navel gazing aspect of Ready Player Two's fan-fictioning of its own universe hurts the book immeasurably. A too-big chunk of the book is spent recounting the quickly fading glory of Ready Player One. I suppose if Player Three ever gets a turn at the controls, the narrative will be so bogged down by nostalgia that nothing new will happen at all.

Back to the Future and Unreliable Technology

Back to the Future has an interesting commentary on technology, namely that technology is not reliable. Tech breaks and, by breaking, negatively impacts those that use it. 

Let's consider all the ways that technology is unreliable in the narrative and how it affects its users.