Category Archives: SF

On Making Man

On the outside, the worlds, plots, and protagonists of Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man and Roger Zelazny’s “For a Breath I Tarry” are irreconcilably different. Bester’s world is a technologically advanced 24th Century where some humans have evolved … Continue reading

Posted in SF | Comments Off on On Making Man

The Body, Unignorable

As I write this Italy is reporting its deadliest day since the beginning of the coronavirus. 368 people are dead, and I am reading A.E. Van Vogt’s Slan, Larry Niven’s Ringworld, and Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake for a module called “Altered Humans –… Continue reading

Posted in Atwood, Biology, Climate Change and Ecology, Coronavirus, dystopia, genetics, Margaret Atwood, Niven, Oryx and Crake, SF, Van Vogt | Comments Off on The Body, Unignorable

Once, They Were Wonders

“What type of worker do you think is best from a practical point of view?” “Oh! Perhaps the one who is most honest and hardworking.” “No. The one that is the cheapest. The one whose requirements are the smallest.” This discussion of robots Karel Čapek’… Continue reading

Posted in Automaton, automatons, Hero of Alexandria, Heron of Alexandria, Inventors, robot saints, robots, SF, Zodoc Dederick | Comments Off on Once, They Were Wonders

She Made Herself

In 8 AD, Pygmalion prays a statue to life to be his wife. In 1886, Ewald enlists a fictional Thomas Edison to create Hadaly, a romantic companion who would have the beauty of a human woman without the pesky spirit. In 2009’s (distressingly orientalist)… Continue reading

Posted in Bacigalupi, Chabon, Cynthia Ozick, eta hoffman, Ex Machina, Fantasy, gender, Golem, Marge Piercy, Michael Chabon, Ozick, Piercy, robots, SF, The Future Eve, The Windup Girl, Turing Test | Comments Off on She Made Herself

[Bonus] The Alien Enemy

In the film adaptation of H. G. Wells’s novel, The Ware of the Worlds (1953) imagines a future where the next phase of warfare in human history is the introduction to enemies that are far beyond the bounds of human nature. The invasion of Earth and the introduction of virtually indestructible enemies is a trope […] Continue reading

Posted in Aliens, SF | Comments Off on [Bonus] The Alien Enemy

She’s going to get you: a card game facilitated exploration into imperialism

For our final project, Asia and I decided to create a negotiation style board game based off of H Rider Haggard’s novel She. Below are infographics detailing the rules, objectives, background and characters that the game entails. There is also a forthcoming play through video that you will be able to watch in order to […] Continue reading

Posted in board game, Class Projects, Haggard, negotiation, Science Fiction, SF, She, Strategy | Comments Off on She’s going to get you: a card game facilitated exploration into imperialism

[Bonus] Rappaccinis Daughter: a poisonous mystery

Rappaccini’s Daughter, a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne first published in 1844, follows a young man named Giovanni Guasconti as he falls in love with Beatrice Rappaccini and becomes enraptured in her poisonous world created by her father, Dr. Giacomo Rappaccini. A mystery unfolds in the story as Giovanni learns about Dr Rappaccini’s infamous scientific […] Continue reading

Posted in disney, Fiction, Garden, Haggard, Poison, Rapunzel, Scientists, SF, She, short story | Comments Off on [Bonus] Rappaccinis Daughter: a poisonous mystery

BONUS: Perfection, Obsession, and Self-Worth in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark”

Today more than ever before, the myth of physical perfection looms like a dark cloud. In the age of celebrity, plastic surgery, and Photoshopped magazine covers, the idea of the perfect appearance is never far from our collective consciousness. “People Magazine” still crowns an annual “Sexiest Man Alive”, and advertisements, billboards, and social media feeds […] Continue reading

Posted in Hawthorne, Nathaniel Hawthorne, SF, short story, The Birthmark | Comments Off on BONUS: Perfection, Obsession, and Self-Worth in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark”

[BONUS] Poe: Only the Lonely?

I recall my first experience with Edgar Allan Poe as if it was yesterday. It’s my sophomore year of high school on Halloween. My Pre-AP English teacher is clad in unusually dark colors, and she dims the lights while narrating “The Tell-Tale Heart” in her most foreboding voice. I am attracted to the ominous atmosphere […] Continue reading

Posted in loneliness, Ms. Found in a Bottle, Poe, Pym, SF | Comments Off on [BONUS] Poe: Only the Lonely?

[BONUS] A Short History of Body Snatching

Prior to 1832, in the United Kingdom it was only legal for medical schools and anatomists to perform dissections on the bodies of executed criminals. Due to this restriction, there was an extreme shortage of available cadavers, especially as more students became drawn to the medical profession in the 18th and 19th centuries. As a […] Continue reading

Posted in medical ethics, Robert Louis Stevenson, SF | Comments Off on [BONUS] A Short History of Body Snatching