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Posts Tagged ‘future’

On Back to the Future Day, I’ll share my favorite Marty McFly quote: “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.”

In my opinion, that goes for art, writing, and life. Enough said!

So turn on your VCR or DVD player, or find a Back to the Future movie on Netflix or Amazon, and watch one of these fun movies from the past (or future depending on which Back to the Future you choose).

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“Map out your future – but do it in pencil. The road ahead is as long as you make it. Make it worth the trip.” – Jon Bon Jovi

Yes, I am a Bon Jovi fan! And I love this quote. Maybe it’s because I use a pencil to sketch out my art before I use more permanent media like ink or paint. But I think I also love it, because I know that the future is very fluid, and even if we guess one thing right – in all likelihood, we’ll get a lot of other things wrong.

A fun article about predicting part of the future right by using Victorian postcards (but not all of it), appeared on Wired. Thanks to Ted Weber on the Baltimore Science Fiction Society’s Facebook page for pointing me towards: Here’s How People 100 Years Ago Thought We’d Be Living Today by Greg Miller.

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Techie Brain The word automaton sounds very futuristic, but these clockwork machines were first built hundreds of years ago. I began my speculative story collection, Owl Light, with a time-travel, steampunk story about an owl automaton. And the builder of my owl machine in “The Clockwork Owl” was officially employed as a clockmaker.

You can imagine my surprise when I stumbled on this video of an automaton, The Writer, built by Pierre Jaquet-Droz, a clockmaker, in Switzerland hundreds of years ago. It is a fascinating machine, but a bit creepy. Perhaps it’s because dolls in general give me the heebie-jeebies, but this little clockwork boy is both amazing and the stuff of my nightmares.

What do you think — is the automaton in this video genius or creepy or both?

 

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It’s always fun to see what people 75 years ago thought the future would look like. This Fashion 2000 post from 1939 is a perfect example of how our forefathers and foremothers got somethings right and others wrong. The old Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, and other science fiction movies of the past are fun to watch for the same reasons. It makes me wonder what 75 years into the future from today will look like, and how right or wrong the predictions of 2014 science fiction writers and movie-makers will be. Any future predictions from my readers?

(And thanks Baltimore Science Fiction Society for the link).

 

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The third eye, the eye that sees into the mind of another or into the future or past, is often needed when writing a speculative fiction story.

In Science Fiction, it’s common for diverse cultures and alien beings to cross paths. But how do they communicate? A version of the Star Trek universal translator can be employed. I used a translation device in my SF short story, “Pawprints of the Margay.” But that technology isn’t always available in the storyline.

Another SF communication option is to have one or more of the characters able to read minds or sense feelings. An empath (think Star Trek Next Generation’s Troi), a mind-reader, even Spock’s Vulcan mind-meld will all do. The ability to see into another’s thoughts can be a trait of one of the races included in the tale, or a special talent of a select character or group. The singing opossum in my story, “Assassins,” seems to know what is going on in the mind of the central character, Flynn. In this case, the reader is never certain whether an animal third eye is being used, since the point-of-view of the tale doesn’t include the opossum.

In Fantasy, the universal translator is replaced by a wisewoman or wizard character who understands multiple languages (and quite often has special third eye abilities, too). JRR Tolkien’s wizard, Gandalf, and The Lord of the Rings’ elf queen, Galadriel, are examples.  In my story published in UK’s Ethereal Tales, “The Garden Shop,” the main character has the ability to speak and understand the language of plants — certainly an uncommon linguistic talent, but one necessary for this tale.

Sometimes in Fantasy (and SF) there is a Rosetta Stone that serves as a translation device. At other times, a “common” language (or tongue) that all races understand is present. But most often, one or more of the characters has third eye abilities.

In the new anthology from Dark Quest Books, Dragon’s Lure, the dragon in my story, “Weathermaker,” can both send and receive communication by thought. The young woman at the center of the short, May, speaks out-loud. She soon realizes the dragon must be talking to her in mind-speak as well as in an audible voice.

The Residential Aliens anthology, When the Morning Stars Sing, includes my fantasy short, “Blood of the Swan.” Liv, the swan-maiden at the center of this tale has foreknowledge of the arrival of Jorund, the man who comes to ask for her help as a healer. Liv not only has foresight, but also the ability to read some of what is in a person’s mind or heart. And that special ability is intrical to the plot.

Whether called an empath, psychic, mind-melder, thought-reader, swan-maiden, wizard, or dragon — it’s common to find a character with a third eye in speculative fiction. Just take a look at your favorite SF/F tales, and you’ll see what I mean.

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