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Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1956

Science Fiction and Fear

A lot of science fiction stories explore different aspects of fear, most especially the fear of loss: loss of self or identity, loss of autonomy or freedom, loss of values held dear, and more. One of the classics that has been reinterpreted numerous times, including last year’s Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig film, The Invasion, […]

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sonomacon

SonomaCon Keynote Address

I once had a dream — a science fiction fan community run convention for Sonoma County, where I grew up and was once living. Then I moved. But, while I still had that dream I wrote this “Keynote Address” for the first SonomaCon as one of my Toastmaster Speeches. Enjoy! Introduction Carma Spence will be […]

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cyborg in a computer

Mirrors of Our Soul: Technology & the Human Imagination

This essay was written for my “Science Fiction and American Culture” class. “Who Am I?” and “What is my purpose?” are questions often asked in art. The answers have taken the form of 2-inch think novels, 10-page short stories, and 2-hour films. The question has been cried out in sculpture, paintings, and music. Some say […]

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monster in the mirror

A Mirror for Our Fear

This essay was an assignment for my “Science Fiction and American Culture” class. Science and technology are mirrors in which humankind can see who they are, what they want to be and what they are afraid of. In novels, movies and on television, popular culture explores these possibilities through works of fiction and horror. Sherry […]

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The Day the Earth Stood Still

Master or Mastered: Machine or Alive

The following essay was a paper I wrote for a class I took called “Science Fiction and American Culture.” It compares Harry Bates’ short story “Farewell to the Master” to the movie based on it, The Day the Earth Stood Still. “Farewell to the Master” first appeared in the October 1940 issue of Astounding Stories. […]

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cyberpunk asian girl

Shattered, Disassociated and Confused

This essay was written for a class I took called “Science Fiction and American Culture.” It was in response to reading several stories in Mirrorshades, edited by Bruce Sterling, as well as assigned readings from Storming the Reality Studio, edited by Larry McCaffery. If you would like to read Mirrorshades, still considered an excellent introduction […]

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abstract man in light

Characters and Society in Science Fiction Stories after 1945

This essay was written for a class I took called “Science Fiction and American Culture.” It was in response to three short stories and one novel: “Thunder and Roses” by Theodore Sturgeon, “The Roads Must Roll” by Robert Heinlein, “Coming Attraction” by Fritz Leiber, and The Space Merchants, by Frederik Pohl and Cyril Kornbluth. You […]

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mars

Themes & Trends in Science Fiction

A Brief Overview of Common Subjects Machines Humankind and its relationship with machines (robots, computers, gadgets) is probably one of the most dominant themes in science fiction. From Don Quixote’s duel with a windmill to Sarah Connor’s flight from the Terminator, science fiction has often concerned itself with the gadgets we make and whether it […]

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female star trek fan

Camille Bacon-Smith Looks at Star Trek Fandom

In the book Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth, Camille Bacon-Smith looks at, describes and tries to explain a segment of Star Trek fans. This segment is predominantly female and writes about characters from the series in ways that some think are not “in character” for those characters. Writing (and creating […]

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December in the late 1980s. My two bellydancing friends/teachers and I were total STNG fans!

Star Trek Fandom, Camille Bacon-Smith and Me

This essay was written in response to a reading assignment for my “Science Fiction and American Culture” class. We read Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth by Camille Bacon-Smith. For those of you who think a writer is someone who gets his name on books, let me assure you that is […]

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