science fiction plus

…he said, “You know, in Preservation-controlled territory, bots are considered full citizens. A construct would fall under the same category.” He said this in the tone of giving me a hint.

Whatever. Bots who are "full citizens" still have to have a human or augmented human guardian appointed, usually their employer; I’d seen it on the news feeds. And on the entertainment feed, where the bots were all happy servants or were secretly in love with their guardians. If it showed the bots hanging out watching the entertainment feed all through the day cycle, with no one trying to make them talk about their feelings, I would have been a lot more interested.

The Murderbot Diaries I: All Systems Red, by Martha Wells

This is my precious Murderbot, and I love it to pieces, and everything about it is Relatable. It just wants to bingewatch trash tv all day, and why won’t all these humans stop trying to interact with it and improve its life and make it feel things? 

Please read this novella, because it’s everything you could ever want in a snarky first-person robot tale. The link takes you to the full first chapter. 


Original art for illustration, not dated.

The End of the Moon Science Fiction Plus (back-cover), August, 1953.

Wonder Stories (cover), August, 1930.

The Robot Aliens (Wonder Stories illustration), February, 1935.

The Robot Aliens (Wonder Stories cover illustration ), February, 1935.

Amazing Stories (back cover), October, 1945.

Frank R. Paul (1884–1963)

“C’est juste une série, pas la peine de s’exciter”.

C’est plus qu’une série, gars. C’est l’une des séries de science-fiction les plus iconiques. Et si tu veux savoir pourquoi c’est important, c’est parce que la télé influence notre perception de la société. Quand tu montres à une gamine qu’elle doit être mince, blanche et blonde pour être jolie et adulée par les mecs et que sa seule fonction dans la société, sera d’être bonne et de savoir se maquiller, cette gamine va le croire. Quand tu montres à un gamin qu’il doit être musclé et beau gosse pour décrocher la fille qu’il aime, il va finir par y croire. Quand tu montres à un public un couple de gay caricaturé à la télévision, les gens vont inconscients penser que tous les gays sont ainsi. 

A l’inverse, tu montres à une gamine une héroïne comme Xena ou Diana Prince, elle se dit qu’elle aussi, elle peut se battre et être forte. Qu’elle aussi, elle vaut tout autant qu’un homme et que ce n’est pas parce qu’elle est une femme qu’elle ne peut pas faire ce qui lui plait. Le succès de Wonder Woman au cinéma n’est pas anodin. Le fait que les femmes prennent peu à peu le pouvoir dans GoT n’est pas anodin non plus. La vision de la société sur les femmes est en train de changer et la télévision y est pour beaucoup. Alors, tu vas me laisser m’extasier et chouiner sur le prochain Doctor qui est une femme en paix, capische ? 

anonymous asked:

Isn't El Goonish Shive, like, a transformation fetish webcomic? That's the only thing I've ever heard about it. I'm always on the lookout for a new webcomic after a bunch of the ones I liked stopped updating, so if it's actually good I'd love to hear about it.

Yes and no.  You’re definitely thinking about the right comic.

I’d describe El Goonish Shive as urban science fiction/fantasy plus surprisingly reasonable teenage drama, plus a bunch of basically PG-rated transformation stuff.  It also has some of best and most compelling writing and characters of anything I’ve read.

I stumbled across it a few years ago via a TVTropes link—I don’t remember what about.  But I followed the link and read a strip.  Then I read the next eight strips.  Then I hit the “first comic” button and read the whole archive that day.

The original strip I read wasn’t even related to any of the sf or transformation stuff.  It was just two guys sitting on a sofa talking about their relationships.  (It’s this one for anyone keeping score).  I just found the characterizations sufficiently compelling that I needed to know who these people were and how they’d gotten there.

It’s kind of hard to link to “best comics” or anything, because so much of the humor is character-driven, so doesn’t really work out of context. This might be my favorite non-spoilery comic that works without much character context.

The comic also winds up addressing trans issues a lot, especially lately.  The author is genderfluid and one of his characters obviously is too, but the author didn’t actually encounter the concept until a couple years ago—which led to a lovely comic about the character also coming to this realization, and their friends all basically going “wait, how did you not know this already?”

Like most Keenspot-era comics, it starts out kinda shaky, both art-wise and writing-wise.  It definitely gets better but it takes some time; it probably doesn’t really hit its stride fully until around the birthday party arc.

It’s also sometimes really cringeworthy in the beginning.  The author was writing about trans stuff and about transformation fetish, but was also really insecure/embarrassed about this.  So the early comic features a lot of “yes, dear reader, like you I am definitely grossed out by this idea and in no way find it attractive or sexually appealing.”  

The current arc is actually going back and addressing some insensitive things some of the characters said early in the run, but I don’t blame anyone for not enjoying reading them when they were said the first time.

But on the whole I think it’s a really brilliant and well-executed webcomic, with great characters and a gripping plot, and my only complaint is that it only updates three pages a week, rather than, like, thirty pages a day or something.


*I just saw this movie in Trieste Science Plus Fiction Festival.  This is an intelligent, modern science fiction movie with a powerful feminine sensibility.  If you’re a female sci-fi geek, you should somehow get your hands on this indie movie.  Then you should show it to your boyfriend so that you can carefully femsplain to him what is going on with the plot.

Sixty years ahead of his time, Alex Schomburg’s Cosmatomic Flyer predicted Cartoon Hangover’s continuing trajectory. 

From the postcard back:

You are one of 200 people
to receive this limited edition
Cartoon Hangover &
Channel Frederator postcard!
March 2014
Channel Frederator presents
Cartoon Hangover

20,900,000 million unique viewers
1.44 million subscribers
312 million minutes viewed
100 million video views
Source: YouTube/Cartoon Hangover analytics

*including the channels
Cartoon Hangover
Cartoon Hangover 2
Cartoon Hangover ESP
Bravest Warriors
Hangover Uncensored

Illustration by Alex Schomburg
The Cosmatomic Flyer ‘Science-Fiction PlusMarch 1953

Series 27.4 [mailed out March 31, 2014]