Books & Pieces: weekly roundup
World Weaver Press presents our weekly quick roundup of news and factoids, articles and more that struck our fancy, tickled our interest, and had us scratching our heads. For readers, writers, and genre fans of any form.
First, a bit of Lego fun. These dioramas of famous scenes from science fiction are entirely made of our favorite interlocking bricks from childhood.
Ursula K. Le Guin takes on the supposed literary/genre fiction division made by the “Easy Writers” article recently in New Yorker. Le Guin has written on this topic before; her essays on genre distinctions — her essays on just about anything — are pithy and erudite. This new essay is no exception. She even elicited a few gut shaking laughs from us while we read. Le Guin picks apart Arthur Krystal’s “Easy Writers” arguments that genre fiction is a “guilty pleasure” with great astuteness, before writing:
“English departments have largely given up trying to defend their ivied or ivory towers by shooting down every space ship that approaches. Critics are ever more clearly aware that a lot of literature is happening outside the sacred groves of modernist realism. But still the opposition of literature and genre is maintained; and as long as it is, false categorical value judgment will cling to it, with the false dichotomy of virtuous pleasure and guilty pleasure.”
To which end she lays down her beautifully simplistic hypothesis:
“Literature is the extant body of written art. All novels belong to it.”
Amen! You can read the full article (and it’s worth devoting the time to read it thoughtfully) at Book View Cafe.
When it comes to finding and interacting with intelligent life elsewhere in the galaxy, the more we think about it and the more we read about new discoveries, the more likely it seems … then the more we think about what we thought about, the less likely it seems. Which of course leads to thoughts that contact is much more likely than we previously thought to think … but that the aliens out there might just be avoiding us. Which, given our tendency toward circular logic and redundancies, we can’t really blame them.
Last week we pondered the science-like-ness of rule based magic systems. Our discussion was spurred by N. K. Jemisin’s article proposing that the mystery and wonder and awe of fantasy is that it’s not science. And come to think of it, we’re still ticked ten years later that George Lucas took the great mystical Force and gave it a rule based explanation that could be calculated and quantified with a blood test. Down with midi-chlorians! With all of these great “rules of magic” conversations going on, how can you resist a serious discussion of the magic system of Magic Mike and the ritualization of tear-away pants.
There’s a great many sci-fi remakes, sequels, and prequels hitting the theaters this summer, but there’s even more sci-fi in the works that’s new or at least new to film. Between the original works and the novel and graphic novel adaptations, there’s a whole slew of cool looking sci-fi movies coming down the pipe.
Ten awesome natural wonders you’ve likely never heard of — and some of them are pretty freaky — in this video compilation from Smithsonian Magazine. We have to admit, these are super cool looking, even if we don’t really want to go visit too many of them. Hiking across the world’s largest salt flat? Being shredded by razor sharp limestone? We’ll pass on the visit and just stick to our nice, calm, non-natural wonder summer vacation plans, thanks.
Posted on June 29, 2012, in Books + Pieces, World Weaver Press and tagged book news, books, Books + Pieces, fantasy, film, literature, nasa science news, science, science fiction, space, World Weaver Press. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.