Tea and books weather.
The Snow is Coming Back
http://www.noaa.gov/ is a wonderful site if one wants to know the (statistically probable) future. At the moment it is calling for more snow and cold for this author's local.
Tea and books weather.
Nothing is ever quite like a Norman Rockwell picture. In any given situation there is always a deviation from what is considered perfectly traditional. When writing an alternate world that is something to remember. If your characters squirm up to the feast location and join tentacles in friendship make one of the tentacles clammy, or not clammy enough.
Rest In Peace Carrie
A few days after suffering an apparent heart attack on a plan actress and mental health advocate Carrie Fisher has passed away.
Rest in Piece Princess
The five or so days between Christmas and New Years often have a sort of emotional dullness to them for a large portion of the population. There are no parties, or fewer, lots of cleaning and preparing and no chance to decompress becasue one cannot qutie forget that there is yet another social obligation hovering just on the horizion.
This dynamic is something useful to consider when world building. Just like the empty spaces on a canvas being as important as the colored ones the emtional dull zones can be as telling about a culture as the moments of emotional fervor.
When in your world does everyone feel a bit dull and bloated?
Alien Ugly Sweater Party
Kisk'tch took another sip of his eggnog and twitched his mandibles happily. Not at the taste. He could really take or leave the viscous drink. It was a bit too much like the field rations he had consumed in training. No, his current happy state was due to the bustling and joyful energy that infused the community room of the consulate. Humans milled around laughing and chatting. The smaller bodied Trisk delegates either perched on the tables or clung to the outer layer of the clothing the humans wore.
“I really can’t see why you call these sweaters ‘ugly’-“ the Ambassador was saying as he passed, clinging to a vibrant mauve number one of the human guests was wearing. The Ambassador patted the bristly wool demonstratively.
Kisk’tch smiled and shifted his legs so he could view the room better. As a mere Assistant Ambassador he had far fewer duties. In fact his only official duty was to observe and learn but he was fairly certain now that he had learned enough from his mentor to serve the function in a small way. There! By the festive Christmas tree (what fun they had exploring it-as if it was ready made just for Trisk bodies and minds) stood the representative of the local military. Kisk’tch set down his eggnog and scampered over to the man.
“Pardon me General,” Kisk’tch said politely. “I note that you are positioned under the decorative plant parasite and I wish to initiate the ritual of the inexplicable apology –ah! Forgive me. I mean the kiss!”
Kisk’tch formed his mandible parts into a smile and lifted up his front legs in the human ‘pick me up’ gesture. The General grinned and emitted a sigh before he reached down and offered his hand to the Trisk Assistant Ambassador.
“Merry Christmas.” The General said gamely as he lifted the giant spider to his lips.
Christmas Pies All Made
Gluten free, milk free, low sugar Christmas Pies.
So far no one has complained about the recipe and potential devourers have had to be fought off tooth and fork.
Looking forward to dinner!
Huxley is Everywhere
Referencing yesterday's post "Brave New World" is apparently a template for much of the dystopia fiction out there. Or is it rather a dark utopia? Either way this author has seen many, many echos of the world created by Huxley in modern culture. Classics are like that I suppose.
Convergence of Ideas Old and New
Was the Convergence of “The Clone Wars” and “Brave New World” Deliberate?
“Three tiers of racks: ground floor level, first gallery, second gallery.
The spidery steel-work of gallery above gallery faded away in all directions into the dark. Near them three red ghosts were busily unloading demijhons from a moving staircase.
The escalator from the Social Predestination Room.
Each Bottle could be placed on one of fifteen racks, each rack, though you couldn’t see it, was a conveyor traveling at the rate of thirty-three and a third centimeters an hour. Two hundred and sixty-seven days at eight meters a day. Two thousand one hundred and thirty-six meters in all. One circuit of the cellar at ground level, one on the first gallery, half on the second, and on the two hundred and sixty-seventh morning, daylight in the Decanting Room.”
Fair readers? Does any of this sound familiar? Of course if you recognize the actual source, shush you well read teacher’s pet and let someone else answer the question!
Modern science fiction fans might look at this passage and immediately imaging a plot critical scene from that juggernaut of cultural relevance that launched in 1977 but only achieved plot significance for this blog post in 2XXX with the release of “The Clone Wars”. This is indeed a very apt description of what one Obi Wan Kenobi finds on Kamino. Right down to the “ghosts” moving about the factory that is producing the clones. However this scene is not in fact from the screen play, or novelization of the movie. It is an older tale, one that shares some remarkable similarities with the much vilified prequels.
In 1932, with the world still smarting from the War to End All Wars, and the warning that maybe in fact it wasn’t already rumbling like distant thunder on the horizon, poet and playwright Aldous Huxley published “Brave New World”. It is this deeply disturbing tome that produced the above concept. Human reproduction reduced to a factory process. The all powerful state creating individuals to be grown like machines and used for specific purposes.
First off let this author admit that the similarity just might be a mechanical thing. A factory is built to be efficient and human biology lends itself to very specific processes. So the visual similarities might just be two different creators reaching the same result by an empirical study of the logical growth of science and industry. But there is still the underlying socio-political issues that lead to the creation of these institutions in their respective worlds.
There is a power that is seen as a good. On the one hand the growing post-apocalyptic state of Huxley’s “Brave New World” and the Jedi in Lucas’s “Star Wars”. They are handed by science (or science as represented by the Kaminoians) a docile population that serves their needs. On the one hand consumption that keeps the social order going to keep certain ideals in power and on the other war that maintains the social order while moving certain ideals in power. Both the Jedi order and Huxley’s state focus on the suppression of intense emotion, promoting amiable service to a greater good, ‘we all belong to each other’. The scenes where Obi Wan and Skywalker Sr. are flying through the capital could have been written off of nearly identical scenes in the opening of “Brave New World”.
So this author, having seen the repetition of a pattern, now wonders if it was deliberate on the part of the “Clone Wars” writers? Were they trying to depict the corruption of the Jedi order by so strongly aligning the core of the Grand Army of the Republic’s power with the saccharine dystopia found in Huxley’s “Brave New World”? Trying to tap into the sense of subtle horror that has risen from the book for nearly a hundred years now? Were they trying to subtly trying to display the fact that the Jedi were not the ultimate good that the culture had assumed they were from the original 70’s series? Was the convergence deliberate at all? Was it simply that the images created by Huxley have so far seeped into the cultural consciousness that when asked to visually display a cloning factory that that was where their minds went without thought?
So what do you think?
Was the great similarity between the Cloning Facility on Kamino and the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Center a deliberate attempt by the writers to show the corruption of the Jedi order or simply cultural convergence on a subconscious level?
It is entirely the Pumpkin Pies' fault that there is no real post today. That and the Empanadas that were not quite as requested. Granted the surprise Christmas Carol sing Along was a contributing factor as well....so anyway no real post.
Music in Culture
Another important world building question is what role music plays in the world you are creating. And for science fiction worlds the conecpt of does the culture even have music presents itself. It is religious in nature? Secular? Medicinal? Can everyone participate in it? Or is it restricted to particular indivduals?
Betty Adams is an up and coming author with a bent for science and Sci-fi.