Saturday, August 18, 2018


Science Fiction - There are 2 main methods to determine Science Fiction sub genres. Ask yourself, does the action take place on our Earth or on another world? Science permits humans to advance to the point that life on an extraterrestrial world/ need to travel there, or disruptive societal change -- dramatically transforming our day to day existence.  Before the term Science Fiction had ever been used, Jules Verne wrote a series under the moniker Voyages Extraordinaires including From the Earth to the Moon (De la terre à la lune).  While that was happening, Robert Louis Stephenson dreamt up the concept for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  A short time later, HG Wells wrote and published The Time Machine, Invisible Man and War of the Worlds. The Speculative Fiction movement began, whereby Earthly limits fall away and imagination takes flight. Even if that imagination means staying at home. Superhero and Apocalyptic fiction emerged into a space created by their predecessors. Once we learned history is not fixed and things might/ might not turn out the way we hope, Social fiction appeared. With a fully developed genre, authors could go anywhere and everywhere, unrestricted by reality, ready to inhabit new nearby/ faraway worlds.

From the Earth to the Moon Jules Verne 1865
Gun enthusiasts dream up an idea to shoot themselves to the moon with a space gun, in an attempt to survive a moon landing.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson 1886
A London lawyer investigates strange occurrences involving his old friend and the evil Edward Hyde.

War of the Worlds H. G. Wells 1897
Martians invade the home of an unnamed narrator, and his younger brother, in southern England.

Superman Action Comics 1938
As a baby, an alien is sent to Earth from an old faraway planet before it was destroyed, where he learns to assume a new identity.

Evidence Isaac Asimov 1946
A political opponent levels an accusation that his rival is a robot, remotely guided by the true candidate -- who was in reality permanently disfigured by an accident.

I Am Legend Richard Matheson 1954
The only survivor of a pandemic lives in LA, as he struggles to beat the disease but constantly fears pandemic sufferers arisen from the dead like vampires.

The Body Snatchers Jack Finney 1955 
When seeds invade Santa Mira, unsuspecting sleeping residents disappear and are quietly replaced with nonhuman duplicates.
Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand 1957
While investigating a ruined factory, a railroad magnate finds a strange electric motor.

Soldier from Tomorrow Harlan Ellison 1957
A soldier from a distant future, state conditioned from birth to fight and kill, travels through time to the present.

Starship Troopers Robert A. Heinlein 1959
A young soldier serves in the Mobile Infantry, fighting in an interstellar war with Arachnids, sent through space from the planet Klendathu.
Coma 1977
As students complete their rotation, it becomes clear patients are going into comas more often than usual, at Boston Memorial.

The Handmaid's Tale Margaret Atwood 1985
A totalitarian state has overthrown the United States government in a world where fertile women are forbidden to use their birth names in service to their master.

Diaspora 1997
In a post human future, a transhuman orphan takes the form of a purple robed herdsman, set off to explore the unknown.

Legion Brandon Sanderson 2012
A special condition allows a man to generate multiple personalities but he shies away from researchers wanting to study his abilities.


Sunday, August 12, 2018


90s HORROR MOVIES - Those of you of who are regular visitors to my blog know originality prevails, when it comes to gauging quality movies. I developed this list based on (mostly) original concepts, excluding franchises/ re-makes. The decade is all over the place with scifi, comedy, gothic, dramatic, and crime thriller elements. I believe the constraints of horror conventions are being shed in this decade, compared to the 80s. And even further in the aughts. By the end of the decade, CGI begins to take up a larger visual footprint. Used sparingly, the impact of computer generated elements are undoubtedly mind-blowing. Terminator 2 makes the cut for that reason, plus military horror. Conversely, it can be ruinous. Stories which previously would not have been made into films, are now being made, and celebrated. The limits fall away and imagination takes flight. Unfortunately, there were numerous unnecessary franchises/ re-makes that overstayed their welcome. But on the bright side, the aughts are coming up next!

Misery 1990

The Silence of the Lambs 1991 

Terminator 2 1991

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle 1992 

Death Becomes Her 1992 

Interview with the Vampire 1994 

SE7EN 1995 

From Dusk till Dawn 1996 

Scream 1996 

Thinner 1996 

Starship Troopers 1997

Mimic 1997 

Funny Games 1997 

Ringu 1998

Saturday, August 4, 2018


BOCA NEGRA CANYON – A little known fact is the route between current day Mexico City and Santa Fe has been a crossroads for trade spanning centuries, and possibly thousands of years. Ever since reading Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather, I developed a passion for Southwestern Literature. Stories such as those told by author Eugene Manlove Rhodes, of Pasó Por Aquí. He takes the title for his classic western novella from those same words, the words Don Juan de Oñate carved on the sandstone wall of El Morro, otherwise known as Inscription Rock. Or another tale, The Little Lion of the Southwest, whereby author Marc Simmons depicts the life of Manuel Antonio Chaves, also appearing in Cather’s book as a minor character. A descendent of one Oñate’s conquistadores, Chaves participated in a raid on the Navajo, and in retaliation, was severely wounded. At the age of 16, as the only survivor, he walked home 200 miles without provisions. Long before any European set foot on the path, the Anasazi settled Canyon de Chelly and dispersed the Hopi, Navajo and Acoma people into the surrounding areas. From the Acoma Pueblo to the green pond of El Morro, the landscape is as stark and emblematic as those that passed this way, down the lonesome trail. Photographs of these stone etchings, taken at Boca Negra Canyon historical site, reflect the hand of an ancient ancestor that scratched symbols in the black rocks. Were these people the first to walk the trail? Yes, that's what I imagine.