Tag Archives: philip k. dick

#64. Blade Runner 2049 (2017) — A Shoot the WISB Subcast

13 Nov

Digital loves, twisted techbros, and bees, oh my! Shaun and Paul join forces with special guest Marissa VU to discuss the long-anticipated Blade Runner 2049. They discuss the film’s “big questions,” what it means to love in a decaying world, Villeneuve’s remarkable ability to create visual spectacles, and so much more. Plus, we find out if Shaun could really love a non-human, why Paul likes a Vegas in ruins, and why Marissa thinks Jared Leto is just a bit strange in this movie.

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Note:  If you have iTunes and like this show, please give us a review on our iTunes page, or feel free to email us with your thoughts about the show!

Here’s the episode (show notes are below): Continue reading

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Mining the Genre Asteroid: Time Out of Joint by Philip K Dick

24 Oct

Mining the Genre Asteroid is Paul Weimer’s look at the history of the science fiction and fantasy field, bringing to light important, interesting and entertaining books from science fiction and fantasy’s past to you.

A seemingly ordinary 1950’s slice of Suburbia. Ragle Gumm spends his days working on the “Where will the Little Man be Next” puzzle for the local paper. As the reigning champion of solving the daily puzzle, it is practically a full time job for him.

But, then, when a soft drink stand disappears before Ragle’s eyes, to have a piece of paper with the words “soft drink stand” fall to the ground, things are clearly not what they appear. Especially since, judging from the drawerful of paper slips,  it becomes clear that this has happened to Gumm before… Continue reading

Question of the Week: Favorite science fiction or fantasy stories about real wars?

14 May

Those of you who read my personal blog will know that I’m working on a syllabus for a Survey in American Literature course.  Science fiction, as you might guess, appears prominently in the reading list, which has inspired me to post this question:

What are your favorite science fiction or fantasy novels, stories, dramas, or movies which are about real world wars (allegorically or otherwise)?

For me, the list is pretty clear:

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

Haldeman’s military SF classic is, in my opinion, one of the most important works of literature in the last 100 years.  As an allegory about the Vietnam War (or Conflict, if you want to be correct about such things), it is a stunning foray into the operative function of SF as a genre:  estrangement.  If you’ve never read it, you should.  Right now.  Hurry…

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Vonnegut’s fiction has always intrigued me.  Slaughterhouse-Five is one of those books that is at once supremely weird and cleverly autobiographical (Vonnegut served in WW2 and the title of the book comes from the place where he was imprisoned, which protected him during the firebombing of Dresden by Allied forces).  Vonnegut’s experiences fill every page, which help cover the unreality of the alien visitors narrative that make the novel a piece of science fiction.

“Faith of Our Fathers” by Philip K. Dick (in Dangerous Visions edited by Harlan Ellison)

PKD is known for his dystopian futures and alternate histories.  “Faith of Our Fathers” is one of the second variety, telling the story of a world where communism won and is run by an amoral, all-consuming godlike Party leader.  The Cold War may not have been a proper war, but it’s hard to ignore its impact on fiction in general, and science fiction in particular.  Dystopian fiction after WW2, as far as I can tell, saw a massive increase, with numerous stories by PKD alone dedicated to nuclear holocaust or variations thereof.

Star Wars IV – VI by George Lucas

A lot of folks have suggested the obvious parallels between the Empire and Nazi Germany (if I recall correctly, even Lucas has made this connection).  Star Wars is so saturated with WW2 imagery that even its action sequences are obvious throwbacks to pre-jet-engine dogfights.  Whether the allegories had an influence on the film’s impact is up to speculation, but one certainly can’t ignore that Star Wars has changed everything we know about science fiction today.

Aliens by James Cameron

I enjoyed the first Alien movie, but it pales in comparison to Cameron’s Vietnam-influenced sequel.  The film mimics everything from the overbearing macho-ism of anti-communist (and anti-“other”) America and military right down to the bureaucratic amorality which started the Vietnam War.  It’s hard not to include it on this list.  Plus:  the movie is freaking awesome!

And if you don’t believe me, then this should change your mind:

The big question is whether there are fantasy titles out there that deal with similar issues.  If you know of some, let us know in the comments.

So:  which science fiction and fantasy stories about real world wars are you favorites?

Episode 44 — The Newsies, Atlantis, and Gender Problems

11 Apr

We’re back with a heavy hitter.  This week we talk about upcoming movies, the discovery of Atlantis, some stupid universities and their anti-library nonsense, and the recently released review/gender statistics from Strange Horizons.

Feel free to shoot us an email at skiffyandfanty [at] gmail [dot] com, leave a comment, or follow us on Twitter.  We hope you enjoy the episode!

Note:  If you have iTunes and like this show, please give us a review on our iTunes page, or feel free to email us with your thoughts about the show!

Here’s the episode (show notes are below):


Episode 44 — Download (MP3)

Intro and News (0:00 – 36:10):

Strange Horizons and the Gender Count (36:11 – 53:44):

Check it out!  Shaun’s first blurb!

Our new intro music is “Time Flux” by Revolution Void (CC BY 3.0).

That’s all, folks!  Thanks for listening.  See you next week.

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