Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Future

Ten years from now, I see myself in a sad state, because nobody is taking anything seriously anymore. Everyone's doing what they want and they're not caring about climate change and worldwide affairs. I'm creating art about people healing the Earth to bring hope into people's lives, but I'm afraid it's only helping to distance people from reality by just feeding them more entertainment.

Thirty years from now, I see myself feeling hopeless. Climate change is accepted and people are trying to stop it but it's too late. There is a growing movement to leave Earth, but only among the rich. I have left my artistic life and focused on becoming an engineer to try to help the problems everyone around me is facing. People are not caring as much as they should, since now there's very immersive virtual reality games and worlds to experience.

One hundred years from now, I see the world dying. There's a constant air of paranoia around the world where people are wondering if the world is going to die or not. Everyone's playing it really safe. Recycling. Living sparsely. Bunkers are being sold. Space in spaceships are being sold for the more privileged people to leave from, whereas the poor can only afford to send memorabilia that they want remembered and saved. I am high in a mountainous area with the girl I love and we are in peace living from long-lasting products

Thursday, April 6, 2017

'Bloodchild' Response to questions

After reading Bloodchild by Octavia Butler,  my first thought was in realizing how similar the ideas in this book were to the weekly reading, Dawn. Butler's interests lie in things like what the effects would be in having a human/alien hybrid child and how the concept of gender is blurred by aliens. I also felt saddened by seeing how Butler makes humanity seem so hopeless and trapped when an alien species comes to "domesticate" them in a way. But at the same time, it's not entirely depressing, because humans are allowed a certain kind of freedom within their confinement. I'm talking about Bloodchild, but the same thoughts could be applied to Dawn. Butler puts humans in situations where they should be happy living a comfortable life, but they never are.

I can't seem to back away from relating Bloodchild to Dawn, because I feel like they're so similar and almost seem to bounce ideas off of one another.  For example, the idea of having something harmful to one group be something beneficial to another. Like parasites in human bodies becoming the Tlic's offspring in Bloodchild or cancer being a healing mechanism for the Oankali in Dawn. I also saw a strong connection between Bloodchild to the movie Alien. Specifically, the birthing scenes, which could be seen as C-sections. Something about it just has a very displeasing but necessary quality to it, and I think that idea definitely ties into the alien theme.

If I were to translate the reading onto another medium, I would make it into a radio story. It's short and gets to the nitty gritty of the story quickly, which is perfect for a radio story. Once aliens get visualized, they lose some of their mystery, but just hearing the types of noises they make would be enough to spark people's curiosity. Changes I would make would be to take away some of the background information given to us in third person, and I'd figure out a way to incorporate it in the dialogue within the characters in order to make it only dialogue and no narration.

12. Dawn

Dawn by Octavia Butler hit on a lot of points for a relatively short science fiction novel. The one that impacted me the most was in how trust constantly shifted to and from characters in interactions between characters/groups of characters. This was one of those stories where the mystery of "what's going on?" really made me want to continue reading the book. In this case, more specifically, I wanted to know if the main character, Lilith, was or wasn't actually in danger from the Oankali aliens. I found my trust in the Oankali constantly shifting. They helped Lilith in one scene, and in the next they'd keep secrets from her and stay very quiet.

The description of the Oankali and their ship/animals seemed highly interesting as well. The way they were living appeared very logical in how they absorbed genes they needed from other species and adapted it into their culture. And how they were described (aquatic/grotesque) made me cringe in more than one place. 

Another interesting thing I found is in the parallel between the Oankali's home world and Earth. Both species, at the time the story begins, have lost their home world and are now just drifting. I think this just reinforces how similar the Humans and Oankali are in terms of their standing in the universe. But because of mistrust and suspicion, it creates heavy conflict between the two species. In this way, Dawn is about two cultures clashing and coming to understand what each other wants from one another. 

11. Snow Crash

10. The Stars My Destination

9. Shards of Honor

8. American Gods

American Gods by Neil Gaiman gave me a very confusing crash course on folk tales and mythologies all around the world. That being said, it was a very entertaining read. The whole book was a huge commentary on American's uncaring attitude towards the magic of the world. It reminded me of Santa Claus movies where Santa loses power when people stop believing in him, because that's how this universe of folk tale characters exist. It was also slightly a story about manipulating of people and how easy it is to control what someone does by knowing what makes them tick. Another story this book reminded me of was Percy Jackson. American Gods felt more grounded though, because the main character seemed really hardened by our society.

The whole book felt like it was downward spiraling. People are slowly losing their beliefs in these titans/gods so they're turning towards drugs and sex to keep themselves happy. The book is ugly. Gaiman isn't scared to go into dark places with these characters. It makes sense since the characters all so torn. But since it was very depressing, it also had an air of nostalgia. There are several moments, specifically with the Leprechaun,  where the gods reminisce about the times in the past when they were respected and believed in by the people. Besides this, there were also several chapters that focused on stories completely separate from the main plot that mostly takes place in the past and tells of a hero/god from a foreign country.