Captain.ver.Kerk's blog

There's some literary word for this writing style, but I forget what it was

Midnight Robber is a novel set apart from most other works of science fiction in its use of a non-Anglo-Saxon culture as the predominant society of its world. Science Fiction often deals with issues of individuals set apart from the rest of society or set in unfamiliar surroundings, trying to find their way, and so it is somewhat surprising that there are so few examples of Science fiction works written through the lenses of cultures outside of the western/American norm.

So I wrote about race.

Race and racial discrimination are a very large part of Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, but they do not manifest in the way we would expect. In Stephenson's future world, race becomes defined more by who you work for rather than what your genetics are. Residents and employees of the various Franchises are granted a sense of exclusive community as per their "citizenship," and come to distrust and even feud with those from other Franchises.

Tank Girl was a trip, but this is my response to Slow River

In Slow River, we are presented with a protagonist who is rarely who she says she is, yet always remains herself. Frances Lorien van de Oest is the kidnapped heir to a multi-billion dollar company working as a grunt in a sanitation plant for little pay. Nicola Griffith uses Slow River to present Identity as a two-fold concept, where one is defined by a legal classification, yet also by the set of morals and experiences they carry with them.

Xenophobia on an interstellar scale

Of all the works we have read so far, the series Lilith's Brood reminds me most of other science fiction books I've read. It has several things I feel to be typical staples of the SciFi genre, parts that are most often shared with other novels in the category. These include the presence of an intrusive alien species, some great war that leaves our current perception of Earth in ruin, and advancement of human life and health through some means. The most noticeable and most pertinent theme, though, is that of Xenophobia, one I feel plays out most often in science fiction books.

Interstellar Buddhism

The clash of duality and singularity is the overarching theme and conflict in Ursula LeGuin's "The Left Hand of Darkness." Many things on Gethen seem to exist in a state of oneness rather than parity, and while the contrasting of Genly Ai's dualistic worldview against this new "norm" is how this idea is predominantly played out, many fail to notice that there do exist examples of pairing within the Gethenian society and planet, and I feel there to be yet another overarching theme that can be derived out of this clash.

Prisoners in their own system

The Handmaid's Tale depicts a world in which women are highly subservient to men, some even to the point that they only exist to fulfill the biological process of reproduction necessary for the survival of the species. Such is the lot of our protagonist Offred, and it is from her we get our entire perspective of the civilization of Gilead, a society in which she and many other women are very much prisoners and slaves.

The Brain/Body Brawl

Perhaps the most preeminent theme in William Gibson's Neuromancer is the conflict between body and mind. In the futuristic world presented, those specializing in tasks of the mind are given a special status among the rest of society. These elite are known as "cowboys," specially trained and skilled individuals who are able to comprehend and even manipulate the workings of cyberspace, essentially a more developed form of the modern internet.

Entertainment in Night City

One thing I've noticed in many more recent sci-fi and other-genre works detailing near futures of our world is the tendency for some of humanity's most animalistic and basic (as in low) behaviors to become much more widely accepted and popularized. In the Neuromancer, we have the entirety of Night City essentially run on illegal trade of drugs, data, sex, and other blackmarket operations and goods.

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