Category Archives: Uncategorized

Caffeine Withdrawal

So, I’m with some friends watching UFC, while I think I’m going through some fairly major caffeine withdrawal. I am reading Dr. Daniel Amen’s Making a Good Brain Great, and decided to cut out caffeine. I had a major headache pretty much all of yesterday and a slightly more minor one today.

I’m not sure if watching (or perhaps just observing) UFC for the first time is such a good idea, but seeing Brisby get cold knocked out does make me appreciate my brain, and helps me deal with the headache because I know I’m doing something healthy for my brain instead of stepping in a ring to get my head pounded on.

bisbing_henderson

Boom, Roasted: Fanatical Pupil Edition

(I realize that in the age of the internet, this is very outdated, but, too bad)

The first joke you think of is pretty much never funny. Boom, roasted.

But sometimes you say it anyway. Boom, roasted.

You went to see Third Eye Blind, Eve 6, and the Goo Goo Dolls. Boom, roasted.

You like cutting your frozen pizza in sixths so you can shove it in your face faster. Boom, roasted.

Your short term memory is worse than that guy from Memento. Boom, roasted.

Your long term member also sucks. You can’t even remember the guy’s name in Memento, and it’s one of your favorite movies ever. Boom, roasted.

You keep collecting Coke Rewards points even though you can’t get anything good with them. Boom, roasted.

Lost Season 5 Trailer

Thanks to Chris Roberson I know it’s there… somewhere… Luckily I watched it on YouTube before it got “removed by the user.”

Not sure why ABC doesn’t have it on their LOST page. They do have 3 alternate endings to watch, though if memory serves me, only 2 of them are actually alternate endings.

I’m thinking maybe when it actually premieres in another 2 months that I’ll be ready to watch it again. I think part of it will depend on if the shows I’m currently watching are still running new episodes at that point. And, of course, if my wife is into it.

What is Science Fiction as a Genre?

The following quotes are from a post that is actually about Science Fiction as an MMORPG, but it has some discussion which definitely applies to written fiction.

In my view, all the most-popular SF (Fiction or Fantasy, you choose) like Star Trek, Star Wars, SG, BG, etc. More closely resemble fantasy than SF.

In these, you’ll find all the character-centricity you need to make a compelling story. The setting (the technology) is incidental to the story rather than the focus. When you start throwing in goofy aliens with weird “powers” (or Chicago mobsters, or Nazis, or mutants, or ….) you are starting to get awfully close to reskinning fantasy in space. And honestly, thats not necessarily bad.

Here, where SF can stand for Science Fantasy (an obvious oxymoron if I’ve ever seen one), I think a more appropriate SF would be: Space Fantasy (as the other can be called “High Fantasy” – a term I’ve heard before, which I believe applies to things like A Game Of Thrones). It takes place in Space, and it’s basically a Fantasy.

Too often pure SF is more about the idea and not the character, or if about the character, it has a dependency on a technological element that is both critical to the story and too susceptible to being over taken by our headlong technological rush into the future potentially rendering the dramatic heart of the story irrelevant or to quote Wil, downright silly. Its much easier to keep our disbelief suspended when we’re talking about the Force in another galaxy than to disregard what have become now-glaring factual inaccuracies (or implausibilities) in light of scientific advance. FTL travel or the gravity problem anyone?

And that is why most laypeople (I believe) just call it SciFi no matter what narrower definition could possibly be applied. It’s not technically Science Fiction, the narrow definers argue, but it certainly is Fiction. And the term SciFi differentiates it from pretty much every other sort of fiction there is. It’s not (usually) horror, mystery, romance, fantasy, chick lit, or anything else. Sure, it can be a mix of SciFi with any other genre, but it’s still going to be distinguished as SciFi.

I accepted this concept starting with Neal Stephenson’s lecture at Gresham College in which he basically asserts that Science Fiction doesn’t really need to be narrowed down as a genre since (these days) everything that is not another genre is Science Fiction. It’s not a hard and fast fact, but more a byproduct of the way we are currently producing content. Science Fiction has become so mainstream that it, as a genre, can encompass just about everything that isn’t cordoned off by another group.

Quick Personality Test

And now for something substantially more interactive (and less ranty):

If you split something to eat with someone – let’s use cookies as an example – so you have a half of two different cookies. One is a cookie you really like and are excited about eating. The other one is still a cookie (I mean, come on!) but it’s just you know, a cookie you’re okay with. So, which one do you eat first, the exciting one, or the okay one?

I have no results for this personality test. I’m just interested. If you’re interested in my answer: I eat the okay one. I’m sure that says something about me, and I’ll see if I can provide an explanation in a future post, but I’m more interested in knowing what other people do right now.

American Hero (Wild Cards Online Series)

Since there was a brief mention/discussion of George R. R. Martin (wow, 3 weeks ago now; didn’t seem like it was that long ago), I thought I’d throw it out that I’m reading the American Hero series now (via Google Reader). I’ve actually got 3 serials (I guess you could call them that) in my Reader now. It’s working out okay, but I feel like none of them are getting as deep into a story or setting as they would in a real book. I guess that each piece has to be pretty short for people to be able to keep up with them, though.

So far, Shadow Unit is the most interesting to me, and actually feels like it has the most depth despite having the shortest pieces. I guess when I say “depth” it’s not the actual presented depth, but more of a feeling like the story will eventually be the deepest. American Hero just doesn’t seem like it will be anything more than the reality show it’s presented as, and I feel like they could have played up the reality show stereotypes like plot and production more, instead of just basing it all on character stereotypes.

Three Unbroken seems like it could be a deep story, but I just have no idea where it’s going. I’m not quite a quarter of the way through, but I don’t see anything happening beyond a bunch of space/future type warfare.