Archives for posts with tag: science fiction


This book consists mostly of synopses. Thus, serves well only as a reservoir and a round-up of plots. The Author ingores evolution of the genre and omits theoretical papers, in the result each chapter follows somewhat obscured, temporary and chaotic logic. There is Ketterer at least, but very briefly summarized. No Kermode. No Brummett and others. The profit: vast choice of plots, can’t deny that (one to mention is the lack of non-English writers, there are few, Lem, thanks for that. But no Strugatsky brothers?) I got irritated by few obsessively repated sentences. After 100 pages of reading you begin to take account of sentences like: “Few SF stories have embraced the concept of a divine plan as completely as…”, as really repetitive. Nevertheless, the book contains very good, interesting insights, only you have to look for them carefully.

Goodreads | The Gospel According to Science Fiction: From the Twilight Zone to the Final Frontier by Gabriel McKee

A good overview. It’s a pioneer work on Polish ground. Science fiction and religion are usually considered here as severly separate. The book is mostly based on English language SF, but it’s fairly comprehensible. After all, which is not? One thing to say – too many synopses, too little theory and too few contextual works.

Goodreads | Imiona Boga by Dominika Oramus

Let’s start a micro SF story from the minimum. I mean – no words (and no pictures!) at all. Remember the machine that created Nothing, from Lem’s Cyberiad? So, we know – doing Nothing is a hard work, and has enormous consequences, it is not just simply “doing nothing”. All wordless works I know have big contexts behind them.

For example. There is a Polish poem (?) by Ryszard Krynicki called White Spot. It is indeed a white piece of paper, but it is entitled and has all the country’s history behind: in Polish “white spots” are gaps in history, historical moments omitted or falsed for political reasons. Why “white”? because they’re on paper and look so innocently convincing at the first look.

History, genre – it’s all inevitable. You can’t hide. Is “no words” SF story possible? Of course it is. Give it a big title, such as: ‘There was a Venusian girl with hundred and one heads speaking”, publish it in SF magazine or e-zine and there you go. Is wordless micro SF story without title possible? It is, just publish it in a famous SF magazine… But it would be a shame to take money for this. Shame on you, editors! You can always publish it under a name “James T. Kirk”. Everybody would understand he has nothing else to say. And it would count. That is The Minimum.

Next step. A single letter. Here’s my rating of English letters suitable for making an SF micro-story: A (4/5, good: first letter, indefinite article – suitable for suggesting non existent word, with good title would make perfect), B (3/5, second letter of the alphabet, entitled “A” would be fine if a subtitle were clever), C (0/5), D (2/5, if the title were “3 or 4″ or something like that, playing with associations, it would be enough), E (3/5, quite strong in making e-things, just requires a fantastic title), F, G, H (0/5), I (3/5, who is me? just a good introduction needed), J, K, L, M, N (0/5), O (5/5, my favorite, “O” can stand for a letter and a digit, but only in computational environment you can tell the difference; on paper it’s the same – the source of analog/digital playfulness), P, R (0/5), S (1/5, oh no, superman, don’t use this), T, U (1/5, can stand for “you”), W (1/5, “double” but one, how to use this ambivalence?), V, X (4/5, both have great strange history, maybe too great, X slightly more recognizable), Y (1/5, can stand for “why?”, but so what?), Z (1/5, the end, doesn’t seem too productive).

And then… Just like in a chess game: for both players it begins from the very first move, but the audience start to watch closely when they don’t understand what is really going on. Is it a second letter case? The adventure continues…

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