Ursula K. Le Guin - The Lathe of Heaven

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In Ursula K. Le Guin's The Lathe of Heaven George Orr is treated by the psychiatrist William Haber. Orr is an effective dreamer. Whatever he dreams becomes reality. But he remembers the reality that existed before his dreams. So, he's viewed as a madman, talking about multiple realities that never existed. Haber uses a machine to increase the strength of Orr's effective dreaming and the alteration of reality increases. Weird notches up rather quickly. Aliens appear as a result of one dream. The nuclear destruction of all human society occurs in another. Haber starts using his machine to create effective dreams to change reality and a battle of effective dreaming ensues. Orr's ability to effectively alter reality proves stronger than Haber's. And Orr is able to return reality to a state that's somewhat normal by the end of the book.


2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke

Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey traces the development of man from his nascence, learning to manipulate and create tools, and posits mankind's future with the rise of the Starchild.

Last Tango in Cyberspace - Steven Kotler

steven kotler - last tango in cyberspace

Books Received: Last Tango in Cyberspace. St. Martin's Press: 2019

Steven Kotler's influences in Last Tango in Cyberspace are ever present, like neon kanji at night, floating above densely-packed Tokyo streets. Yes, the book is a love song composed to William Gibson and Thomas Pynchon. Kotler imitates the right writers, has a prose style that makes the read worth it by itself, and is an inventive thinker. The only major weakness here is that the book is missing dramatic tension. Because so much of the book is a direct homage to Kotler's literary forebears, while reading Last Tango, you're never quite free of the nagging thought about how would things have played out had Gibson or Pynchon penned it.

Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card

ender's game

Ender's Game
by Orson Scott Card is incredibly enjoyable science fiction.


But why? What makes it so enjoyable? Let's explore.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells - A Marxist Interpretation


Image result for the time machine
Traveling in time means almost nothing in H.G. Wells' The Time Machine. Well, it's a fun way to tell a story. But past that, time traveling is merely a literary conceit, a way to tell a story that considers social, economic, and political realities of 19th-century England.

Best Sci Fi Movies Ever | Top 100

Film as Spectacle

Sci-fi movies often look real enough that we're convinced of the possibility of the worlds we're shown. The silver screen presents visions of utopian futures, dystopian presents, and worlds to explore. The one consideration to keep when viewing SF is that the screen subtly pivots the genre away from its role as the literature of ideas and gives it an operative function of creating spectacle.

Contact - Carl Sagan | Human Technological and Emotional-Cognitive Development

Because of what the science fiction genre is--a genre that considers how science will shape mankind as he moves into the future while retaining the human spirit, then the greatest science fiction novel is Contact by Carl Sagan. During his life, Sagan championed human rights issues and encouraged the search for extraterrestrial life. He was instrumental in developing SETI.

Sunshine - Danny Boyle | Evolution and Sacrifice

Sunshine - Danny Boyle

Sunshine
 (2007) directed by Danny Boyle and adapted from Alex Garland's screenplay is provocative, beautiful, and sad.

Han Solo - The Hero Disney Killed

Han Solo
Fox / Lucasfilm

The Star Wars Franchise, guided by Disney's hand, killed Han Solo--not just in body but in spirit. Sure, Kylo Ren gave into his anger and it wasn't pretty, but it wasn't just Han the character that died. The idea of Han died too.

Cyborg Manifesto | Donna Haraway, Silko, Octavia Butler, & Nancy Kress

cyborg manifesto - donna haraway

In Cyborg Manifesto, Donna Haraway’s use of the cyborg is, for the most part, metaphorical. She is only tenuously invested in robotics and uses the techno figure of the cyborg to partially refer to the information systems of the cyberneticists like Weiner, Shannon, Kieber, Turing and McCulloch, but mostly to present a de-essentialized feminist vision, one not in need of Edenic metanarratives of patriarchal genesis. As far as information theory goes, she is interested in intersections of a posthuman consciousness vis a vis Katherine Hayles that is free of embodiment. 

Isaac Asimov - Foundation | American History: From Empire to Plutocracy

Isaac Asimov Foundation

Isaac Asimov was more than a sci-fi writer. He was also a historian, a futurist, a thinker. With Foundation, Asimov considered the broad scope of American history along with speculative technological development. But Asimov's purpose for writing Foundation was foremost an exploration of the major iterations of American history.