[ExI] Fwd: story

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Fri Sep 25 16:22:49 UTC 2015

My notion is that the best fantasy is vaguely based on reality in a sense.
That might apply to SciFi as well.spike
The hardest thing in scifi is to make up an alien culture.
Understandably.  You can see human parallels in all of them.  I am not sure
it is even possible to totally get out of the human ways of seeing things,
but the best writers do a credible job.

Tolkien said often that there was no meaning to his fantasies, no
symbolism, no religious significance, etc.  But you can interpret anything
as having something behind it, intentional or not.

A great example (of something, I am not sure what) is Two Men and a Boat,
written in the 19th century as just a story.  But when it was published it
was read by most people as hilarious.  Odd, very odd, that the author did
not see that himself.  When he later tried to write funny stuff, he failed.

What future writers will do is not known, but the basic themes of scifi
have been used up and no one can think of another one that doesn't involve
time travel, aliens peaceful or not, advanced science, multiple universes
and a few more.  So it's getting harder to write good stuff.  Much the same
can be said about fantasy - limited themes.

Notice how plays and musical and movies often take off from earlier works,
making sequels, rewriting them and so on.  How many works are, in fact,
thinly disguised versions of Romeo and Juliet?  bill w

On Thu, Sep 24, 2015 at 1:00 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:

> *From:* extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] *On
> Behalf Of *William Flynn Wallace
> *…*
> >>…Nonfiction has a fun other-worldly weirdness to it you just can’t make
> up.   spike
> >…Maybe that's why fictionalized history is so popular: a mix of what was
> and what might have been. On the other hand, I 've read some fiction that
> just dazzled me that someone *could *make that up.​
> BillW, in a sense, they don’t make it up.  Consider two classic
> proto-fantasy works, Frank Baum, author of the Wizard of Oz and Theodore
> Geisel, who did the Dr. Seuss works.  Agreed those are two good examples of
> fantasy?
> If you read up on Geisel’s work before he became a children’s author, he
> was a political cartoonist.  In that context, view his classic work The Cat
> in the Hat.  Notice the cat’s hat has the horizontal red and white
> stripes.  Remind you of anything?  The cat comes into someone else’s home
> uninvited, rearranges everything completely without permission, to the
> astonishment of the appalled children, all while being reprimanded by the
> goldfish, completely ignored by America, or rather the cat in the hat with
> all the mysterious abilities.  View that in the context of an author who
> was a prewar interventionist (see Horton Hears a Who (and imagine the Whos
> are Jews, crying out for help.)  View the Cat in the Hat as a political
> cartoon thinly disguised as children’s literature, decrying America’s
> hyperactive interventionism into other cultures.  Geisel was a prewar
> interventionist and postwar isolationist.  His fantasy writings are
> childrenized political commentary.
> Frank Baum: now there’s a weird fun fantasy.  He didn’t just make up that
> story.  It is political commentary and symbolism throughout.  The main
> characters all represent the settings of his day.  Opinions vary on who
> represented who, but a plausible suggestion is that William McKinley and
> William Jennings Bryan were represented in the story, as well as shadow
> imagery in other characters.
> My notion is that the best fantasy is vaguely based on reality in a
> sense.  That might apply to SciFi as well.
> spike
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