Weekly Roundup

–WIRED’s Clive Thompson thinks that “Science fiction is the last great literature of ideas.” Maybe because the root of the genre is innovation? Or because Science Fiction uses technology to examine possible futures and analyze the present? Thompson also makes the point that “many of sci-fi’s most famous authors — like Robert Heinlein and Philip K. Dick — have positively deranged notions about the inner lives of women.” I’d love to know what he thinks about the SF/R spectrum at the cross-section of Science Fiction and Romance, where most of the writers are female. I’ve wondered if the popularity of the character-driven novel in the Romance genre influenced other genres. Science Fiction then transformed from a plot-based emphasis (the one guy in a rocket ship trying not to burn up on re-entry scenario) to a character-driven one, which opened the door for Romance elements to appear. Ta da! Now we have Science Fiction and Romance novels wrapped up in a Literary style of writing. “It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.”

Jezebel points out that women are making inroads into Hollywood as writers, but they’re still hitting that glass ceiling when it comes to directing: “…the Best Original Screenplay category was female-dominated, with 4 out of the 5 nominated films boasting women writers…”

–Show Me SciFi has a nice screencap up from Friday’s Stargate: Atlantis episode “Quarantine,” where Ronon and Dr. Keller nearly hook up. The writers have done a great job of juxtaposing Ronon’s extroverted personality with a grief that he holds close and private. I thought this mix of Science Fiction and Romance was handled better than the issue of Sheppard and Larrin in Travelers. What has really been interesting is how the writers have dealt with Teyla’s pregnancy in the last few episodes. They’ve dealt with her going on a temporary hiatus from missions, but at the same time showing how Teyla has become a more valuable member of the team since her pregnancy. Her Wraith powers have increased, she can control Wraith technology better than before. She hasn’t just become a walking incubator like some other SF characters I know.

–There will be no more episodes of Moonlight until the writers strike is over. SFScope gives its usual weighty review as does The Recapist. I loved the episode, but am left wondering if Lance is so creepy smelling because he’s an old vamp, why doesn’t Coraline have the same parfum if she’s his sibling? At least now we know how Coraline survived that fire. I also would have loved to have seen Mick play guitar hero at Logan’s apartment.

–What am I reading this week? BLOOD PRICE by Tanya Huff (which is the basis for the now defunct Blood Ties TV show) and SPIN CONTROL by Chris Moriarty.

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Recently quite a bit of discussion has been going on in the comments of my Princess Leia Danger Gal post, and then I chimed in on some ruminating on the hero’s journey of Han Solo over at the io9 blog.

StarkillerThen my hubby, and avid Star Wars figure collector (you are surprised by this?), pointed out to me the new Signature Series Concept figures based on early Star Wars art drawn by Ralph McQuarrie.

Evidently, Luke was supposed to be a girl.

Talk about a paradigm shift. How would this saga have been different if Luke Skywalker would have been Luka Starkiller? Evidently, Han Solo was also supposed to be a Jedi.

Admittedly, there are some facets of the saga we likely would have lost if the story had unfurled this way, namely Princess Leia, but how might it have influenced Hollywood if the most popular sci-fi adventure flick ever had starred a kick-arse female protagonist? Here’s a bit more background on this early Star Wars concept.

What do you think? What would you have missed about the version we know now and what would you have liked if this early concept had come to fruition?

Update: More information on the Starkiller Hero Action Figure here.

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(#13) My 13th Thursday Thirteen!

When I’m not writing this blog or writing my books, I’m a web site designer.

Snow Queen, Joan VingeSo, I have a particular interest in art, and also in the cover art of the books I read.

Left, The Snow Queen by Joan Vinge (cover by Leo and Diane Dillon)

Below are some of my favorite artists in no particular order (and certainly not a complete list):

1. Thomas Canty
2. Susan Seddon Boulet
3. John Waterhouse
4. William Morris
5. Charles Mackintosh
6. Stephan Martiniere
7. Amy Brown
8. Brian Froud
9. Yvonne Gilbert
10. Paul Youll
11. Leo and Diane Dillon
12. Ralph McQuarrie
13. The uncredited artist(s) who created the Luna books Catherine Asaro covers for THE CHARMED SPHERE, THE DAWN STAR, THE MISTED CLIFFS and THE FIRE OPAL.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

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