Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Thank You, Dr. Steiling for a great semester.  I have learned so much from your class.  I have always liked Horror, Fantasy, and Sci-Fi and therefore I read books, watched many movies, but never realized the different genres that are involved with them.                                                                                           

I have learned that Science Fiction is part of Speculative Fiction which is made up of space travel, futuristic science, supernatural, technology, parallel universes, and time travel.  I never knew that Frankenstein by Mary Shelley was the very first horror novel until now.  I have two favorite genres.  The first is Space Opera & New Frontier which consists of such books as The Stars My Destiny & Star Wars Heir To The Empire and movies such as Star Trek and Guardians of the Galaxy.  My second favorite genre is Spiritual Education with books like Harry Potter and The Magicians.  Unfortunately, my least favorite is Diverse Position with the story Bloodchild.  I found this type of writing to be disturbing and it just wasn't to my liking.

I found the Parody & Satire section where I got to listen to actual radio broadcasts about views of the future as a satire of the present was very funny and unique.  The writers were real visionaries of the future.  Some of the things that they were talking about have already come true and others are still in the development stage.  During my free time, I am planning to listen to this again and I will continue to read and watch movies related to Fantasy and Science Fiction.  I now have a better appreciation for Sci-Fi and will continue to discover this fascinating world!!

Monday, April 25, 2016


I envision the future as an extension of life today, but with super technological ability and hopefully more humanitarianism.  In my lifetime, I believe that virtual reality experiences will become extremely popular as people will want to have this experience in the comfort of their homes, but it will never replace a REAL experience.  Along with this, computers will become more advanced and 3-D projection of images will become the norm for anywhere in the world.  It will become a Princess Leia and R2D2 world.

As far as travel is concerned and maybe not in my lifetime, there will be scheduled space trips for people to Mars, the Moon, and maybe even cruising the galaxy.  Robots will become popular for home use as people will want more and more leisure time.  On that note, I hope that robots won't take away too many jobs from the industry sector and I also hope that we do not loose our survival skills and depend on technology being our means of survival.  I believe that gasoline and using fossil fuels will vanish and cars will use hydrogen or solar energy and renewable energy will play a huge part in Earth's survival.  I also believe that new holistic approaches to diseases and our general health will become popular and diseases will be cured through natural methods instead of prescriptions and medications.  People will be living to 100 years old and beyond!

Sci-Fi will never disappear.  People will always like adventure stories, super heroes, stories involving space travel, time travel, and the supernatural.  Sci-Fi will also live on with the Sci-Fi Conventions and the attendees who dress up as their favorite characters.  I feel that novels such as Frankenstein, Dracula, and Legend of the Werewolf, just to name a few, will always remain popular.  Well, I really don't know for sure what the future holds, but hang on for the ride and I am positive that it will be an exciting one.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


                                                                PARODY & SATIRE

"I Think We're All Bozos On This Bus" is a comedy recording made by The Firesign Theatre which was very funny and interesting.  First of all, I thought the commentators sounded like martians or robots.  The idea of vegetable shaped holograms singing, technical stimulation, and virtual reality rides was really advanced for the 1970's.  I found it humorous when the computer misunderstood Clem and Barney's names.  The computer tried to interact with both these guys and failed because it was a bad substitute for a genuine human.  As the story goes on, Clem manages to confuse the computer so much that he causes it to crash.  He becomes the first computer "hacker" as we know it today.  The main point of this album was that even though computers serve a purpose, they are just machines and no substitute for humans.  The wit used to shut the computer down was cleaver.  This album is great!  I really enjoyed listening to it instead of having to read about it.  I am going to listen to it again when I have some free time.

The next selection that I listened to while in the labs was" The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy".  This radio show was amazing.  As I listened to it, I felt like I was actually with the characters as they traveled along on their adventure.  The sounds and effects gave me the feeling that I was on the spaceship.  This style of writing reminded me a lot of Jules Vern and his adventure novels.  It was great to listen to this type of science fiction which was funny and witty compared to the more serious science fiction that we had read this semester.

For the Earth to be unexpectedly demolished to make room for a new hyperspace bypass is wild!  A guy by the name of Arthur Dent is saved from this demolition by an alien named Ford Perfect who works for the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy which is actually a type of guide.  Mr. Perfect, the alien, took his first name from the Ford automobile because he thought that it was the most popular life form in the universe.  How funny!!!!  The story has a lot of humorous twists, turns, and details, but it also addresses serious issues such as the meaning to life, the universe, and other things in general.  I can't wait to find out how Arthur and Ford are doing in the next series.  This was a big thumbs up and great!!!

Movie:  Timer (2010)

The movie "Timer" reminds me of what is happening in the dating world today.  Today, instead of meeting someone either at school, through a friend or family, or work, a person just goes online, puts themselves out there, and gets a match to someone who is compatible for them.  They hope???  Then there is social media with Facebook, Twitter, etc. where nothing is private.  How can a relationship survive??  This movie is a Sci-Fi romantic comedy with a little different twist about meeting a soul mate.  The "Timer", a digital clock implanted on a person's wrist, tells a person how long it will be before he or she will meet the "one".  Some of the timers are blank, some show long lengths of time, and some show short periods of time.  This basically drives everyone crazy with worry.  It reminds them that their biological clock is ticking.  I feel the moral of the story is when you meet your soulmate, you will know it without a timer.  You will feel it inside.  Life is full of twists and turn, but do you live for the moment or wait for true love?  I'll go with what is meant to happen will happen.  I liked this movie because it was very comical, but I feel that it was more of a female type movie.

Friday, April 15, 2016


                                                     LITERARY SPECULATION

Are there any prominent symbols in the story?
If so, what are they and how are they used?

There are several prominent symbols in the "Aquatic Uncle" short story.  The first symbol was land and sea with the land representing modern life and evolution.  The sea symbolized tradition and simplicity.  Another symbol was the difference between generations.  The new generation believes that living on the land is a moving forward into the future, whereas the older generation regards the sea as a stable environment providing security and constancy.  Change for the older generation is sometimes difficult and they feel that it is better to stay with what they know.

What connections did you make with the story?
Discuss the elements of the work with which you were able to connect.

I connected with this story because I am very close to my family just like the characters were in the story.  I have always listened to my relative's experiences in life and found most of them to be informative and interesting.  I have always felt that it is important to respect my relatives opinions even if I did not agree with them.  The uncle in this story reminds me of one of my uncles.  My uncle speaks his mind, never takes "No" for an answer, and is always right, so he thinks.  Don't get me wrong.  He is a great guy, but sometimes ........!!  This story really expressed the view of what older relatives believe in and how they see life.

What changes would you make to adapt this story into another medium?  What medium would you use?  What changes would you make?

I really liked this story.  It was well written and very descriptive.  I would change this story into a short computer-animated film.  A full length movie would be too long for this short story.  I feel that making this story into a short computer- animated film could give it enhanced images, along with texture and even special lighting/shading.  This would make the story really captivating to the audience.  The story was very unique and unusual.  I enjoyed reading it.

Movie:   Existenz (1999)

Existenz is an interesting movie.  It centers around Allegra who is the world's leading designer of virtual reality gaming, but it is her newest game that I find strange and frightening.  The reason for my fear is that a bio-port plugs directly into the lower spine and connects to the game's control pod via umbrycord .  Definitely not for me.  I like gaming, but this is just weird and the worst part is that you can't tell the actual game from reality.

I've watched The Matrix movie and it is somewhat similar with the idea of people who find themselves inside an universe created by virtual reality, but Existenz is much stranger.  As I see it, this movie creates a world where organic and inorganic are not opposite.  They sort of work together. The special effects are great.  I mean really great and I hope that the viewers of this movie have a strong stomach!  People tend to react and interact with new technologies that surround them.  The message that I got from this movie was that games can be very addictive and draw players away from real reality.

Monday, April 11, 2016


                                                               DIVERSE POSITION

This story is quite unique.  It has many symbols throughout it and definitely represents the perspectives of majoritarian culture.  First, I feel the Preserve represented a prison where the humans could roam freely, yet the Tlic were always watching.  The humans were governed by rules made by the majority, the Tlics.  At first it seemed like the humans tried to reject the Tlic's plans, but they eventually succumbed.  A dominant issue addressed in this story was human gender relationships.  The idea of females implanting eggs into males and men suffering the pain of childbearing was very scary to me because I am a male!  To think that something alien would be growing inside of me and once it was "born" I would have served my purpose and been disposed of is a horrible thought.  It is also disturbing for me to think that humans weren't allowed to make decisions for themselves and that their destiny had been decided by another life form who used the humans in order to survive.

A love theme is also present.  First T'Gatoi feels love toward her human family and wants them to be safe and happy, but on the other hand, she knows what she has to do in order to survive and nothing will get in her way.  A sensitive and deep relationship develops between Gan and T'Gatoi.  Even though the relationship started out as a brother/sister type, it grows into an emotional experience.  It is a love between two very different beings.

Lastly, this story seems to hint towards the issue of slavery where the Tlic insects are the masters in control and the humans are the so-called slaves.  The humans are forced to keep their hosts to survive.  The humans have no say in the matter and must endure sometimes extreme suffering and pain for the Tlics.  I feel that this story should be made into a Sci-Fi movie.  It would be really neat.  As I read the story, the author made it so graphic that I could actually envision the scenes.  I found some of the scenes to be very disturbing and disgusting, but it helped create the setting and the author got her points across well.

Movie:  MONSTERS (2010)

I watched this movie and found that it possessed several themes.  The first being and invasion of alien troops around the Mexico area.  The second, a political theme that saw the United States government building a wall to keep out the aliens.  Just to let you know, it doesn't work.  The treatment of the aliens symbolizes the way the government treats and responds to refugees, illegal immigrants, and the relations with Mexico.  The third was a relationship/romantic drama.  The majority of the film seemed to focus on the growing feelings that the two humans have for each other, while they are trying to get through an infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the U.S. borders.  Some areas in this film have a post-apocalyptic feel.  There isn't a lot of alien action in the film, but you know that they exist.

The one thing that I took away from this movie was that the the aliens were just trying to exist on the Earth just like us.  The scene that showed this was at the end of the movie when two aliens appeared seemingly to attack, but instead just communicated with each other peacefully and in a non-threatening way.  The movie for me was just O.K.  I have seen better.

Saturday, April 9, 2016


                                                    CYBERPUNK & STEAMPUNK

Neil Stephenson, the author of the novel, was certainly a visionary.  This book takes a look into the future and gives a glimpse of where our world is headed.  It was written in 1992 yet, it features some elements that we use today in the cyber world with some that we are just beginning to use.  The story envisions a hyper-capitalist future of America in which the central government has vanished and has broken into small city states each with their own laws and borders, but controlled by syndicates and corporations.  Wow, what a mess!  The genre of Cyberpunk and Steampunk is present along with computer science, culture, and philosophy.

I found this novel extremely interesting.  I was very familiar with Steampunk as far as the aesthetics of clocks, gears, and Victorian Style Clothing because I have seen this at Sci-Fi Conventions and Renaissance Festival Themed Weekends.  However, I had no knowledge of the literary genre of Steampunk.  The main characters are young and trendy individuals.  Hiro, the protagonist, is a sword slinging, freelance hacker who wears basic black clothing.  YT is a tough, street wise, extreme skateboarding girl.

The Metaverse is a place where people go to communicate.  They use audiovisual bodies, that they have created, to communicate with each other.  The Metaverse was like the interactive 3D experience that we use today.  A virus appears by the name of Snow Crash.  Hiro and YT attempt to investigate it.  The virus has been infecting members of the Metaverse and also infecting the user's mind in the real world.  Computer viruses and hackers are very common today and it is amazing that Stephenson could foresee this happening almost 25 years ago!  This book was really ahead of its time.  It featured interactive 3D experiences and virtual reality which is popular today.  It portrayed a government that became weak and fell apart.  I hope this doesn't happen.  Hacking was an ongoing item with professional and freelance hackers.  There is more and more computer hacking and fraud taking place everyday.

The one idea that really left me thinking was that someone could become greater than their real world self in a virtual environment through their hacking skills.  Also, information flowed freely between humans and computers to the point where you couldn't tell the difference between the two.  Scary!! Today's world depends on computers, but are we becoming too dependent, cold, and impersonal by this?

Movie:  PAPRIKA (2006)

I viewed the movie Paprika which is about a group of scientists developing a device which allows someone to interject their subconscious into and record another person's dream.  This is really wild and I'm not so sure that I would want to share my dreams with anybody.  This is actually what Paprika does and she is like a dream counselor.  Typically, a thief steals the technology and uses it to terrorize and control others.  I found the film confusing at times, but I just went with it and eventually I understood the plot.  This movie had great anime.  The theme that it seemed to express deals with contemporary and most likely to happen issues.  It reflects on the positive and negative aspects of science along with the idea that our actual identities are difficult to understand.

I felt that this movie also explores our dreams and how as we are dreaming. We can be who we want to be in the dream, but when we wake up, we are who we are.  It made me think about what would happen if dreams and reality merged.  Some would be good and the others well, let's not talk about how bad it would be!  I believe that this movie expressed the advantages of the internet is better in communicating, but also dehumanizing.  Great Anime & Great Theme.  I am definitely going to watch it again.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


                THE FICTION OF IDEAS

As I began to read this book, I realized that it definitely was not a space adventure.  My first impression was that it featured a different way of thinking about sex, gender, and it featured male dominance.  The Gethenians, even though they are men/women, acted too much like men.  One of the mind experiments presented was a society with men or women who share the biological and emotional makeup of both sexes.  The idea of once a month a person could develop into a female or male with sexual characteristics was totally mind blowing to me.  The idea of one time being a male and the next time being a female is just weird.  I do think that the idea that both male and female should take part in the raising of children was good.  This idea became reality in today's world because the responsibility of raising children with both parents having jobs is now shared.  The burden is no longer left to one parent.  This mind experiment also presented the idea of same sex partners which is currently happening, even in marriages.

Secondly, the theme of religion was also prominent with two different types.  These forms of religion to me represented a form of Christianity (Yomeshta) and Taoism/Buddhism (Handdara).  Taoism seemed to follow a more spiritual rhythm of nature in the sense of adaption rather than conquering.  More of a sense of unity and peace.  Whereas, Yomesh Cult focused on enlightenment and darkness and the idea of absolute knowledge by one leader.  In my opinion, this created a cultural distinction between societies.  Even today, religion plays a huge role in some of the world's problems.

In conclusion, some of the ideas presented in this book reminded me of the song "Imagine" by John Lennon.  Imagine a society without war and without sexuality playing a factor in social relationships. Imagine a society where prominent people are really interested in different cultures and are motivated to preserve rather than conquer them.  A world where rape, guns, and seduction are absent from society.  A society based on loyalty and integrity without betrayal.  I feel society is straying further and further away from these ideas.  This book introduced me to a different way of thinking about society.