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Friday Thoughts of the SF Kind

Happy early birthday to nurdbunny, lisa_marli, parisntripfan, graashoppa, toddlyles, pktheater, and lizzieausten. May all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!

Tomorrow night I'll be at the Can't Stop the Serenity charity event in Charlotte, NC. I had a wonderful time last year, and this year promises to be even better, because estellye will be there, and I'll also get to meet ashesngolddust for the first time. Will anyone else be attending? It promises to be a night full of Browncoat goodness, all for a good cause.

I have a few links and reviews to share...

* One of my very favorite poets (and one whose work has been featured on more than one episode of StarShipSofa) is Ann K. Schwader (ankh_hpl). Her new collection of dark science fiction poetry, Wild Hunt of Stars, is now available here. Deborah Kolodji, who wrote the introduction, had this to say, among other things: "Wild Hunt of the Stars is a book filled with 'familiar terrors tearing at our sleep' as well as 'quantum tantrums' you could have never imagined. Through it all, each poem is a testament to craft, each verse a testament to the incredible depth of Ann’s imagination." You can read a glowing review of the collection here at GreenGenrePoetry.

Nomansland Pictures, Images and Photos

* Just after I posted that no recent young adult dystopia novel had impressed me as greatly as books from previous years, I read Nomansland by Lesley Hague (2010), which is a fascinating and compelling read. Set in a post-apocalyptic future of environmental hardship and genetic mutation, the story describes life in a tightly-controlled, all-female world in which even pondering one's reflection is considered a moral failing and men are considered to be the enemy. Some of the teens discover a half-buried home from our time, complete with relics from our culture, and this adds pressure to the fault lines appearing in their community. The story went in directions I didn't anticipate, refused to provide easy answers for complex problems, and repeatedly raised interesting questions. Oh yes, and it doesn't hurt that it uses John Wyndham's The Chrysalids as the springboard for the story (and, in fact, it can be read as an extension of Wyndham's universe). I recommend this one.

* Speaking of young adult dystopias, I'm pleased that last year's Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins has won The Hal Clement Award for Young Adult Science Fiction in the Golden Duck Awards. The Golden Ducks will be presented at a ceremony at ReConStruction/ The 10th North American Science Fiction Convention this August. I'll be there as a guest, and I'm looking forward to it!

* From SciFi Wire: "The 20 Most Anticipated Sci-Fi Movies of 2011."

"Two, among the many orders of men who merit the contempt and hatred of their fellows, are undoubtedly these: the grovelling minds which have never aspired to fancy an Utopia, and those ardents who have had the generosity to conceive a plan of our future good, and cannot refrain from afflicting us with a presentation of it."
- from No Traveller Returns, John Collier (1931)


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 25th, 2010 01:57 pm (UTC)
hee! Great quote!

Can't wait to see you. *g*
Jun. 26th, 2010 06:17 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked it. :)

I can't wait!
Jun. 25th, 2010 04:25 pm (UTC)
Okay, going to have to check out Nomansland. You had me at The Chrysalids. I fucking LOVE that book so HARD. Like you wouldn't believe. And the fact that it takes place in Newfoundland? *HARDCORE!* So picking that up! :D
Jun. 26th, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC)
Woohoo! I look forward to hearing what you think of it. I'm right there with you, BTW. I love The Chrysalids. I hope you enjoy this one, too! Rumor has it there's a sequel in the works. I'll be keeping my eyes open for it.
Jun. 25th, 2010 09:13 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the signal boost! Hope you enjoy it.
Jun. 26th, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC)
My pleasure! I can't wait until mine arrives.
Jun. 25th, 2010 11:01 pm (UTC)
The story of Nomansland, as you describe it, sounds oddly like the story of Anthem, with the hero recovering the secret of electricity from an ancient subway tunnel. . . .
Jun. 26th, 2010 06:34 pm (UTC)
Oh, good point! I hadn't thought of the connection (despite the fact I love Anthem), but it's definitely there, especially regarding the rulers: there's hoarding of information, secrecy, and the constant indoctrination of the idea that the individual belongs to the group. There are clever bits that reveal how, as Orwell would say, some are more equal than others in this framework. Alas, the teen girls don't discover/invent anything as meaningful or liberating as electricity. In fact, they find the least noble relics of our era -- high heels and tabloid magazines, for
example -- that, on the surface level at least, simply reflect a different notion of conformity. It adds a certain poignancy to the story, I think, that the "forbidden fruit" they find is so anticlimactic.
Jun. 26th, 2010 12:44 am (UTC)
You've piqued my interest in Nomansland; I think I will have to check it out! Thanks for all these great recs you bring us. :)
Jun. 26th, 2010 06:35 pm (UTC)
Great! It's my pleasure. :) I hope you enjoy it, too. I've read that a sequel is in the works, and I hope this is the case (and that it comes soon).
Jun. 26th, 2010 04:54 am (UTC)
See you tomorrow!
Jun. 26th, 2010 06:35 pm (UTC)
Yay! Not long now. :)
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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