Samuel R. Delany: poetic form & prose form

Samuel R. Delany on “The Jewel-Hinged Jaw: Notes on the Language of Science Fiction”
September 9, 2012 (originally: 09.25.2011)

Samuel R. Delany has been described as “American science fiction’s most consistently brilliant and inventive writer.”  Delany’s non-fiction includes the essay collection, “The Jewel-Hinged Jaw: Notes on the Language of Science Fiction.”

2:00 “when the words are put together in poetic form, you listen to them differently. You pay attention to them differently. When they’re put together in a prose form, again you pay a different kind of attention to them. And it’s the same thing with science fiction.”

2:33 “Then her world exploded”

3:35 dyslexia


Junot Diaz on Samuel R. Delany
April 13, 2014
Writer Junot Diaz tells us why he’s a big fan of Samuel R. Delany’s novel, “Dark Reflections”.

Futures > How to lose the one you love

How to lose the one you love
Gary Cuba
Nature Physics 10, 172 (2014)

I have to admit that Jil lian was truly one to die for. I’d never seen a woman whose visage struck me so deeply — smack-dab in my gut, and various regions nearby. Whenever I saw her in the flesh, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir would insinuate itself into my brain, and I would reel in response to the ecstasy of her divine musical theme.

Many wise men throughout the ages have written about this sensation. Suffice it for me to say that, if she were a predator and I were her prey, I’d gladly give up my bodily organs for her to feast upon.

another Futures:
Every Girl Dreams Of Falling In Love

Science and Fiction – A Springer Series

Science and Fiction – A Springer Series

Readers can look forward to a broad range of topics, as intriguing as they are important. Here just a few by way of illustration:
Time travel, superluminal travel, wormholes, teleportation
• Extraterrestrial intelligence and alien civilizations
Artificial intelligence, planetary brains, the universe as a computer, simulated worlds
• Non-anthropocentric viewpoints
Synthetic biology, genetic engineering, developing nanotechnologies
Eco/infrastructure/meteorite-impact disaster scenarios
• Future scenarios, transhumanism, posthumanism, intelligence explosion
• Virtual worlds, cyberspace dramas
Consciousness and mind manipulation

The symphony that Utmano call speech

Words and music
Ronald D. Ferguson
Nature 482, 126 (02 February 2012)

Unaided, I cannot speak Utmano.
My base vocabulary is okay, and I might squeeze out a few words, but the Utmano tonal range is 14 octaves.
They have some vocabulary modifiers well above 20,000 hertz, which is likely to make your neighbour’s dog bark.
Humans have a more limited range. I use a synthesizer to …

If you watch old videos, Julie Andrews had a four-octave range, Mariah Carey perhaps five, but most people can’t do that.
I certainly can’t. I’m good at listening to the symphony that Utmano call speech.

Ronald D. Ferguson

100 Must-Reads For Kids 9-14

The Ultimate Backseat Bookshelf: 100 Must-Reads For Kids 9-14
August 05, 2013

see also:

Summer Reading List
May 31, 2013


What Kids Are Reading (2019)
What Kids Are Reading, In School And Out 
June 11, 2013

as young readers get older, they are not moving to more complex books.
High-schoolers are reading books written for younger kids, and teachers aren’t assigning difficult classics as much as they once did.

Walter Dean Myers, who is currently serving as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, says that these juniors and seniors are reading books that he wrote with fifth- and sixth-graders in mind.

Anita Silvey, author of 500 Great Books for Teens.

… a study of kids’ reading habits by Renaissance Learning.
For the fifth year in a row, the educational company used its Accelerated Reader program to track what kids are reading in grades one through 12.

‘Equilaterial’: Martians, Oil And A Hole In The Desert

‘Equilaterial’: Martians, Oil And A Hole In The Desert
April 24, 2013
Ken Kalfus began his public writing career relatively late.
He published his first book at the age of 44.
Ever since then, he’s been making up for lost time.

Thayer … has stayed out in the midday sun too long.

Time Travel

Time Travel
The Universe > Season 5. 08/19/2010
One of the Universe’s most enduring mysteries is Time Travel.
In this episode, we explore the possibilities. Discover why Time Travel into the future is unavoidable in the Einsteinian world of Relativity.
As for the past… the laws of physics do not tell us it’s impossible, but the bizarre consequences of going into the past and altering the future make for mind-bending science.
the arrow of time
time dilation
worm hole
Carl Sagan: Contact
time machine
Large Hadron Collider
warp drive; warp bubbles
dark energy as a power source
closest star: Alpha Centauri (4.37 light years from the Sun)

At Home In Fantasy’s Nerd-Built Worlds

At Home In Fantasy’s Nerd-Built Worlds
by Saladin Ahmed
January 06, 2013

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth books

Game of Thrones, HBO’s adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire

the concluding volume of the late Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series

readers came to Tolkien’s books for the rich, magical world that they built out of his words.

world-building is the attempt to describe an invented, fantastic world by cataloging that world’s history, geography, languages, religions, economy and so forth. It’s a way of nudging the reader into Coleridge’s “willing suspension of disbelief” through the accumulation of telling details.

“How can we map every corner of a nonexistent place?” acclaimed British novelist China Mieville has asked. “Why do we want to?” And M. John Harrison, one of contemporary fantasy’s most inventive writers, raised quite a stir a few years back when he raised doubts about “the psychological type of the world-builder,” famously disparaging world-building as “the great clomping foot of nerdism.”

A thousand blog posts have been launched arguing over how much detail ought to be revealed to the reader.