We’re coming to a close on the Science Fiction Checklist Challenge shortly, but I wanted to make sure there were a few more offerings for the child sci-fi reader out there. Oddly, while children’s fiction is crammed to the gills with fantasy and magic, there’s not much SF on the shelf, especially chapter books, once kids have made their way past all the Star Wars beginning Readers.
When I think about aliens, Giorgio Tsoukalos from Ancient Aliens on the History Channel is actually the first thing that comes to mind. For those of you who haven’t seen the show, it examines unexplained historical events and monuments and theorizes that humanity was helped along at various points by ancient alien visitors. We have several sesasons available on DVD and if you check it out, keep an eye out for Tsoukalos, who is quite a fascinating guy.
If your interest in aliens leans more toward stories than theories, you’re in luck. The Seattle Public Library has an extensive science-fiction collection and aliens are to science-fiction what Giorgio Tsoukalos is to ancient alien theory – you can have one without the other, but why would you? The authors in the science-fiction genre have played with aliens in all their various forms for generations. Continue reading “Science Fiction Checklist Challenge: Aliens!”
In this week’s Science Fiction Fridays, we are honored to have an interview with Grand Master of Science Fiction, James Gunn. His stunning new novel, Transcendental, is a smart, complex and stirring novel that has echoes of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
There are so many interesting aliens in Transcendental. Where do you start when creating aliens?
Mostly I invent the planet and then the alien that would evolve under those conditions. But this process is complicated by the issues raised by the stresses applied by environmental changes and the evolutionary process, which is the theme of the novel. One of the challenges was how to turn grazing animals into intelligent, civilized beings, or to turn flowers into intelligent creatures, and then imagine how they would react based on their origins and their change. Stanley Weinbaum in “A Martian Odyssey” gave us the first aliens who were a product of their environment, and I tried to do something similar. I also was subject to the truism of SF creation, that one can’t imagine something truly alien and that we’re limited to adaptations of things we have experienced. Continue reading “Science Fiction Fridays: An interview with Grand Master of Science Fiction James Gunn”