SF/F Things of Note


I saw these two articles today and thought you guys would be interested in them.

First is this article from Abebooks. It’s the top ten scariest characters in literature:

  1. Big Brother from 1984 by George Orwell
  2. Hannibal Lecter from the novels by Thomas Harris
  3. Pennywise the clown from It by Stephen King
  4. Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  5. Count Dracula from Bram Stoker’s novel
  6. Annie Wilkes from Misery by Stephen King
  7. The demon from The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
  8. Patrick Bateman from American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
  9. Bill Sykes from Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  10. Voldemort from the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling

What do you think of that list? I’m not sure some of them are really all that frightening to me. But I agree with Big Brother being at the front.

Next is this article about the ten things that science fiction got wrong (although there are only nine on the page…). The short version is as follows:

  1. Sound in Space
  2. Faster-than-light Travel
  3. Laser Bolts You Can Dodge
  4. Human Looking Aliens
  5. Half-breed Aliens
  6. Brain-sucking Aliens
  7. Shape-shifting Aliens
  8. Time Travel
  9. The Planetary Sameness Principle

I agree with 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, and 9. I’d argue against human looking aliens because life could very well evolve on other planets to bring out humanoid aliens. That might not be the case always, but certainly it would have to happen sometimes. The Universe is kind of a big place. As for brain-sucking aliens, in which he refers to symbiotic relationships such as in Alien, I have to argue that one needs to really look into parasitic relationships on this planet. While it might be very uncommon for humans to be significantly affected by parasitic relationships, there are parasites in the animal kingdom that actually will alter the ‘brain’ chemistry of other animals to get them to do something that the parasite needs–usually this involves reproduction. Perhaps, then, we can assume that larger, more evolved creatures could very well do this to humans, and how are we supposed to know exactly what alien parasites will be like or how they will affect us? Also, some parasites on Earth do feed on brain matter. There’s an amoeba that I talked about here that does just that.
What do you all think about those nine things?

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

2 thoughts on “SF/F Things of Note

  1. Shaun, you somehow turned of the ability to view the original post while commenting, and it’s really annoying. :p

    In other news, I don’t think Big Brother is all that frightening. It’s the idea, and the regime that engenders the fear, not the figure of BB himself. At least for me. I’ve only read Oliver Twist (not scary) and HP (not scary) so I can’t really comment on the others.

    I hate word verification.

  2. Showing the post thing works for me. Try it again next time. Might have just been a fluke.

    And Big Brother represents the regime, so in a way he is the frightening figure.

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