temporus: (armed)
( Oct. 11th, 2007 08:45 am)
Holy Toledo!  Doris Lessing just won the Nobel Prize for Literature!  That is awesome.  I love how instantly the literary commentators say things like "some of her works that are kind of sort of maybe near science fiction" dancing around the issue that she writes in a broad range of topics.   As if, since she's a "serious writer" by their standards, she couldn't possible write something that actually is genre.  Bah.  Good show Doris!


The wife and I just watched last thrusday's Smallville last night.  Um...what's with the suck?  Really.  I think that might qualify as the worst written and worst acted episode ever.  I really hope its not a sign of the season to come.  Just when we're hitting the time when Supes starts getting interesting, when he begins to take on the mantle that will eventually make him Superman.   I could get into specific details as to why the episode sucked.  But I won't.


While I am thinking about TV though...um, what's with all these TV shows where they can't resist showing the characters who are supposedly dead really soon.   Smallville, and Heroes too.   I mean, how suspenseful is it, if you disappear for like one or two episodes before the audience knows you're alive.  Heck, before other people know you're alive.  Is it contractual?  Do they have to do it because the actors require being in some certain number of episodes or something?

temporus: (armed)
( Oct. 11th, 2007 08:45 am)
Holy Toledo!  Doris Lessing just won the Nobel Prize for Literature!  That is awesome.  I love how instantly the literary commentators say things like "some of her works that are kind of sort of maybe near science fiction" dancing around the issue that she writes in a broad range of topics.   As if, since she's a "serious writer" by their standards, she couldn't possible write something that actually is genre.  Bah.  Good show Doris!


The wife and I just watched last thrusday's Smallville last night.  Um...what's with the suck?  Really.  I think that might qualify as the worst written and worst acted episode ever.  I really hope its not a sign of the season to come.  Just when we're hitting the time when Supes starts getting interesting, when he begins to take on the mantle that will eventually make him Superman.   I could get into specific details as to why the episode sucked.  But I won't.


While I am thinking about TV though...um, what's with all these TV shows where they can't resist showing the characters who are supposedly dead really soon.   Smallville, and Heroes too.   I mean, how suspenseful is it, if you disappear for like one or two episodes before the audience knows you're alive.  Heck, before other people know you're alive.  Is it contractual?  Do they have to do it because the actors require being in some certain number of episodes or something?

Alternate History is traditionally a subgenre of Science Fiction.  But there seems to be something about that particular subset that it can really fall into several other genres as well.   I mean, if you don't change enough history, at least not enough to be obvious to the common reader, you end up in the Historical genre.  If you go the route of time travel, certainly you are in the realm of science fiction, especially if it's scientifically explained.   But what it the travel isn't scientifically explained, but magical?  Then you have a fantasy?  What about something like A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court?

Aside from the alternate histories where things were changed by a strange happenstance, and the future meets the past, such as the 1632 series, do you still place alternate histories, where it is nothing more than changing a few key occurences in the past so that they happen differently as science fiction?  Cryptonomicon as an example.  Yet that's somewhat different from Stephenson's follow up (or is it a prequel? certainly appears to be the intent to further explain that same time-line.) The Baroque Cycle which have mystical, if not outright magical/fantasy elements.  Does this slide those books into fantasy?  What about Cryptonomicon too?  They are ostensibly in the same history, so if one set goes, shouldn't both? 

I would say that clearly fantastical works, such as Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norell merit being placed in Fantasy, despite grounding in a mostly historical world.  

I'm hardly pointing out anything new.  Just my mind sort of got stuck on it.  I think though, it shows just how bizarre the whole concept of genre really is.  It's all in the eye of the reader.
Alternate History is traditionally a subgenre of Science Fiction.  But there seems to be something about that particular subset that it can really fall into several other genres as well.   I mean, if you don't change enough history, at least not enough to be obvious to the common reader, you end up in the Historical genre.  If you go the route of time travel, certainly you are in the realm of science fiction, especially if it's scientifically explained.   But what it the travel isn't scientifically explained, but magical?  Then you have a fantasy?  What about something like A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court?

Aside from the alternate histories where things were changed by a strange happenstance, and the future meets the past, such as the 1632 series, do you still place alternate histories, where it is nothing more than changing a few key occurences in the past so that they happen differently as science fiction?  Cryptonomicon as an example.  Yet that's somewhat different from Stephenson's follow up (or is it a prequel? certainly appears to be the intent to further explain that same time-line.) The Baroque Cycle which have mystical, if not outright magical/fantasy elements.  Does this slide those books into fantasy?  What about Cryptonomicon too?  They are ostensibly in the same history, so if one set goes, shouldn't both? 

I would say that clearly fantastical works, such as Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norell merit being placed in Fantasy, despite grounding in a mostly historical world.  

I'm hardly pointing out anything new.  Just my mind sort of got stuck on it.  I think though, it shows just how bizarre the whole concept of genre really is.  It's all in the eye of the reader.
So I got a spam mail today in one of my inboxes, the subject was:  Microsoft Dating.  (Purportedly through the MSN)

Now, I don't about ya'll.  But I do not barely trust Microsoft to handle my computing needs.*   Who on earth would trust Microsoft with their love-life?  I mean seriously???   Talk about your science fiction.  I could just see it now, people who are linux users kept out of the dating pool.  Soon, there would be no one left to support that dangerous open source movement that almost (read negligibly) put the great corporation at risk.   My god, they could slowly take over the world.  People would be so indebted to them, there would be millions of boys named Bill Gates ___ throughout the country.   Ahhh!!!!  (Forget science fiction, I think I just crossed over into horror.)

---

I got to put together some new hardware at work today again.  One of the younger guys came in and gave a hand.  I mentioned that we could have things put together by the vendor, and show up all ready to rack and install, though it costs more.   He was all like: Why don't we do that?  I said, because it's nice to get out of the cubicle and build something with your own two hands.  I don't think I had him convinced.  I know I should want as much automation as possible, and to reduce workload and all that.  But, sometimes it's good to not be stuck sitting in the same grey box.  No matter how many pictures of family I put up, and knick-knacks, it's still just a dreary grey box.  And time outside of it, especially time building something with your own two hands, well, to me that will always be infinitely more satisfying.  Sure, it may be a touch less efficient.  But really, does spending money to save me 20-40 minutes the dozen or so times a year (or less) that I buy new hardware, while at the same time reducing my personal satisfaction make sense?  Probably to someone else, it might seem so.  But I can't imagine never getting to put one of these machines together ever again.  That would be sad.

I've got an idea for a short story buzzing around my head.  It's still just an idea though, a title, the hint of a character, and some concept associated.  But it's going to need a decent conflict to make it real, and that's what I've been balking about all week.  Maybe I can nail it down and get a first draft out.  That would be nice. 


*Hey I can't harsh the Redmond team too much, it is how I make my livelihood.

So I got a spam mail today in one of my inboxes, the subject was:  Microsoft Dating.  (Purportedly through the MSN)

Now, I don't about ya'll.  But I do not barely trust Microsoft to handle my computing needs.*   Who on earth would trust Microsoft with their love-life?  I mean seriously???   Talk about your science fiction.  I could just see it now, people who are linux users kept out of the dating pool.  Soon, there would be no one left to support that dangerous open source movement that almost (read negligibly) put the great corporation at risk.   My god, they could slowly take over the world.  People would be so indebted to them, there would be millions of boys named Bill Gates ___ throughout the country.   Ahhh!!!!  (Forget science fiction, I think I just crossed over into horror.)

---

I got to put together some new hardware at work today again.  One of the younger guys came in and gave a hand.  I mentioned that we could have things put together by the vendor, and show up all ready to rack and install, though it costs more.   He was all like: Why don't we do that?  I said, because it's nice to get out of the cubicle and build something with your own two hands.  I don't think I had him convinced.  I know I should want as much automation as possible, and to reduce workload and all that.  But, sometimes it's good to not be stuck sitting in the same grey box.  No matter how many pictures of family I put up, and knick-knacks, it's still just a dreary grey box.  And time outside of it, especially time building something with your own two hands, well, to me that will always be infinitely more satisfying.  Sure, it may be a touch less efficient.  But really, does spending money to save me 20-40 minutes the dozen or so times a year (or less) that I buy new hardware, while at the same time reducing my personal satisfaction make sense?  Probably to someone else, it might seem so.  But I can't imagine never getting to put one of these machines together ever again.  That would be sad.

I've got an idea for a short story buzzing around my head.  It's still just an idea though, a title, the hint of a character, and some concept associated.  But it's going to need a decent conflict to make it real, and that's what I've been balking about all week.  Maybe I can nail it down and get a first draft out.  That would be nice. 


*Hey I can't harsh the Redmond team too much, it is how I make my livelihood.

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