Monday, November 28, 2016


1.)  What was your reaction to the text you just read?

At first, I thought the text was a little confusing, but as I progressed things became a bit clearer. There were some parts – specifically the description of the “birth” – that I found to be a little repulsive, but towards the end, it turned out to be kind of sweet in a weird, almost disturbing way. I think I still have mixed feelings about it as a whole, but it was well written and definitely interesting.

2.)  What connections did you make with the story? Discuss the elements of the story with which you were able to connect.

Just on the surface alone, the story was a bit harder to connect with. As far as some of the elements of it that one could connect with, I think the idea of making sacrifices for loved ones is something many people can connect with even if one does not necessarily have personal experience with it. Obviously, most people would not have experience with it to the same degree as the characters in the story but I think the idea of it all is familiar amongst most people. Children parasites

3.)  What changes would you make to adapt this story into another medium? What medium would you use? What changes would you make?

I think that the changes I would make would depend greatly on the medium I chose; for instance, I feel as though if I were to adapt this into a film, I would want to include a little more of a backstory just to give the viewer more context going into it. Personally, I still had questions left unanswered after reading and would prefer to have more answers at the end of a film. With adapting this story into a play, I feel like some of the lesser characters either need more of a presence within the story or just to be removed from it. There are a few characters that are mentioned in the story that were mentioned that do not really add to the plot at all. Although I guess if it were a musical, those characters could just be used as backup singers or dancers maybe.

Week Eleven: Cyberpunk and Steampunk

For this week I read the book Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson and watched Blade Runner. Personally for me, Cyberpunk and Steampunk are some of my least favorite sub-genres in Science Fiction, while I can appreciate them, it is just not some of my favorites. With that being said, Snow Crash was not bad. It certainly would not have been my first choice but I am glad I read it.  The humor of the novel definitely helped me get through it. I mean naming the main character Hiro Protagonist, clearly it does not take itself too seriously and I like that. Moving on to the film, I had never seen Blade Runner before but having seen other films by Ridley Scott I figured I would enjoy it, and if not at least I would get to look at a young Harrison Ford for the better part of two hours. Again, it would not have been my first choice, but I liked it. For me, I think the Cyberpunk genre is better when visual elements are involved because of the aesthetic. I guess personally I do not want to read about all of it when I could just look at it how visually stunning it can be from someone else’s interpretation of it – I can guarantee I am not imagining it half as cool and interesting as someone else who is really into the genre.

Week Ten: The Fiction of Ideas

For this week I read Aye and Gomorrah by Samuel R Delany and The Drowned Giant by J G Ballard. Both stories were actually a little disturbing.  Aye and Gomorrah was a little harder to connect to than The Drowned Giant. It took me a few pages to actually understand what was going on and what the frelks and spacers were as opposed to knowing exactly what was going on in the other story due to the straightforwardness of the author. Ballard was much more to the point and with a clinical detached tone as described in the preliminary writing. What I found most disturbing about that story was the fact that no one had any respect for the dead. Children were playing on a corpse and others would have picnics. No one cared that that giant had a life before his death and basically treated him like he was nothing. Although it is disturbing to me, there are people in this world who treat things this was and justify it by saying things like “Oh, it doesn’t matter, they’re already dead”. While that may be true, just because it does not matter to one person, does not mean it mattered to no one. I’m not saying one has to pretend like it matters, but just to be respectful that it may matter to someone else. As for the Aye and Gomorrah it was less disturbing but it still dealt with the idea of fetishizing these groups of people and prostitution.

Week Nine: The Space Opera and the Final Frontier

For the ninth week, I read Song in a Minor Key by C. L. Moore and watched Forbidden Planet and some of the Star Wars movies. I feel like the short story had a bit of a western story going on about it, which would make sense, as many science fiction space stories are adaptations of the western and sea stories. The only main difference is the setting. Maybe it is because the story is so short that it does not really give a chance to get the reader submerged into this new and exciting frontier of space like the films did – at least in my personal experience. I found the films to be way more exciting. In both films, the view is immersed in these visually stunning landscapes of places they have never seen before and some never even imagined. As much as I enjoy Star Wars, I think I actually enjoyed watching Forbidden Planet just a tiny bit more. The landscapes were gorgeous, and although it is a bit dated, I still thought it was a great movie.  

Week Eight: Contemporary Urban Fantasy

For the eighth week I read American Gods by Neil Gaiman and watched the film Coraline. As someone who really enjoys learning about different mythologies – especially Norse mythology – I found American Gods to be really interesting.  Right from the beginning I was super into it. Towards the middle of it the novel did start to slow down, but I did not mind it. I thought the idea of having different versions of the gods based on how the people who believe in them see them was exciting to me, and to include ideas and things that many people nowadays worship like gods such as technology be represented as deities is still very apropos. You cannot go out anywhere and avoid seeing at least half of the people out in public using some kind of technology no matter how unnecessary it may be. Many people have become too dependent on the wrong things.  Moving on to Coraline, it was a lot more whimsical than American Gods but it was super creepy. This was definitely a case of if something is too good to be true, it probably is. I thought the movie was really well done and I did not even mind that they added another character that was not from the book. 

Week Seven: The Tale of Spiritual Education

For the seventh week I read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and watched some of the Harry Potter films. The novel started out kind of slow for me. It took a while to get into, but it was not terrible. I think that if one compared it to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, although there are some overlapping themes between the two of them, The Night Circus just pales in comparison. I just felt that the characters from the former are a little flat and underdeveloped. I mean with the latter series, the reader gets to actually “grow up” with Harry as the series progresses in a way that I think makes one have a stronger connection with those characters as opposed to the ones from this week’s novel. With that being said, there are some ideas that these novels share and obviously the theme of spiritual education and magic would be number one. Now one could argue that it is not really the same kind of magic because Magicians =/= Wizards but when defined as the art of producing a desired result through the use of incantation or various other techniques that assure human control of supernatural agencies or the forces of nature, I think it applies to both. Another similarity between the two is the manipulation of the young student from their mentors. In both stories the mentors play their pupils play pawns for their own game. While some could say in Dumbledore’s case it was for the greater good, he still took advantage of Harry’s trust just as Prospero and Mr. A. H. use their mentees to continue their rivalry.