Quote of the week

FRD-09299.JPGWho said “People are not things!” in the best summer post-apocalyptic action movie I’ve seen in a long time?

Answer: an anonymous woman owned by Immortan Joe
in “Mad Max: Fury Road”

For a great explanation of reasons why this remake works so well, and it is in large part because the movie is not about Max,
read Kameron Hurley’s review here.

Quote of the Week: December 1, 2014

“Between the feeling of individual failure and the conspicuous display of national prosperity lies an unbridgeable chasm. The result is a division of the population into two extremes: one side rebels against the government reflexively (sometimes without knowing what their “cause” is) and trusts nothing it says; the other side retreats into nationalism to give themselves the sense of mastering their own fate. The two sides constantly erupt into flame wars on the Internet, as though this country can hold only One True Faith for the future: things are either black or white; either you’re with us or against us.”

Can you guess who wrote this and what country she/he is writing about?

The Answer: Chen Qiufan (a.k.a. Stanley Chan) is a science fiction writer, columnist, and online advertising strategist. He has published numerous stories, and his debut novel, The Waste Tide, was praised by Liu Cixin as “the pinnacle of near-future SF writing”. Chan is the most widely translated young writer of science fiction in China, with his short works translated into English, Italian, Swedish and Polish. He made these remarks about China today in an article on Tor.com titled “The Torn Generation: Chinese Science Fiction in a Culture in Transition.”

Review: Station Eleven

A beautifully haunting post-apocalyptic pre-utopia

That’s my descriptor for Station Eleven a speculative fiction (SF) novel among the nominees for the National Book Awards this year. Many have described this novel as a dystopia because it’s set in a tragic future after civilization’s collapse due to a deadly pandemic influenza, but I think we should all read more carefully. This is a sheep in wolf’s clothing–a utopian novel in disguise and in the making. Impressive, Ms. Mandel. Congratulations!

StationElevenHCUS2Station Eleven describes the nasty fall out of the pandemic with reasonable and horrifying plausibility. How could it be otherwise in a world where 95% of the world’s population is gone in weeks and the survivors are scrambling about in dangerous and very empty lands? Yet author Emily St. John Mandel does it so lightly and skillfully, I believed her band of characters living in the future North America are probably better off in some ways than if the flu had not happened. The characters who are central to the story in the pre-flu world but did not survive are merely devices who left art and some insights to the survivors we follow in the world 15 years later. Continue reading