I’m listening to a podcast in the background again as I carry on with my day job. Today I have mostly been listening to Lexicon Valley, and I chose this one because my work - both day job and writing sci-fi novels – is bound up with language. As a writer especially (or should that be specially?), I figure it makes sense to learn as much as possible about language.
I was just doing some boring, day-job work and needed something to put on in the background and listen to, to help me get through it, and I found a podcast that is entertaining and full of sci-fi goodness. It is called Metis in Space and it sells itself as indigenous, female, and nerdy. The episode that particularly caught my attention was about Dune, and I hit play immediately I saw that sci-fi classic mentioned.
In preparation for Nightflyers the upcoming TV show I am doing my homework and reading the novella it is based on. The novella starts with an inverted timeline of a future that measures itself from the starting point of “Jesus of Nazareth” which was a little jarringly religious for a sci-fi story. But a recounting of the historic events that follow, such as something known as the “Fire Wars” does a good job of giving the feeling that this is all happening in the far, far future.
Continuing my quest to read every issue of 2000 AD – an impossible task – I have reached number 115. After a run of classic covers, this issue has a very uninspiring image on the front. It features the silly old trope of attack beams meeting and canceling each other out. It’s also cramped and badly framed, so that even this hackneyed imagery is robbed of any drama. The hero shown here is Dan Dare, who has been with the comic book, off and on, since the very start.
For some reason, I love reading recaps of TV shows on the Internet. I don’t even have to be a fan of the show, or even be the slightest bit interested in it or its genre, all I care about is that the recapper likes the show, and they are entertaining and informative as they sing its praises, or scream through hate watching yet another episode. I personally can’t watch Outlander, just to take one example, but I have read a few very entertaining recaps of it.
I was watching the first episode of Claws the other night - a fantastic fever dream of a hardboiled crime show - when it occurred to me that the surreal world presented on the screen is actually science fiction. This show, I realized, is a vision of the future designed and predicted by architects, sociologists, and futurologists of the past. Claws is set in Palmetto, Manatee County, Florida. Five manicurists at the Nail Artisan salon are involved in laundering money for a neighboring pain clinic.
Issue 114 of 2000 AD was published way back on the 26 May, 1979, so why the blazes am I reading it? The thing is, I’m not just reading this old back issue of 2000 AD, I’m reading a whole bunch of them. It’s a nostalgia trip, mostly, but there is an awful lot to love about these old comic books, still. There is also a lot that is not so good about them, such as a white, male, heterosexual world view that is taken to such a ridiculous extreme that entire issues of the comic book can slip by without a single female character or person of color being presented within its pages.