The Short Science Fiction Thread
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Eldritch
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Suomi

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Post: #11
RE: The Short Science Fiction Thread
Peter Watts' "The Things" is a rewriting of John Carpenter's The Thing. Biologist by profession, misanthrope by calling, Watts is definitely the right man to do it.

Quote:I was so much more, before the crash. I was an explorer, an ambassador, a missionary. I spread across the cosmos, met countless worlds, took communion: the fit reshaped the unfit and the whole universe bootstrapped upwards in joyful, infinitesimal increments. I was a soldier, at war with entropy itself. I was the very hand by which Creation perfects itself.

I like to look at the human self-model as a neurocomputational weapon, a certain data structure that the brain can activate from time to time.

Thomas Metzinger
2014 May 14 14:28
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Eldritch
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Suomi

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RE: The Short Science Fiction Thread
Oh, I guess the link would be good:

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/watts_01_10/

I like to look at the human self-model as a neurocomputational weapon, a certain data structure that the brain can activate from time to time.

Thomas Metzinger
2014 May 16 12:36
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Osweo
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Post: #13
RE: The Short Science Fiction Thread
I enjoyed that Things one (even though the supposed uniqueness of Earth's particular approach to multicellular life was hard to swallow news from a being that had been to innumerable worlds), but...
(2013 Jan 24 14:35)Eldritch Wrote:  Here's Eye or Argon by Jim Theis, considered by many as the worst sci-fi/fantasy story ever written.

What is it, then? A parody!? Seems like a deliberate exercise in cranking up to the maximum all the typical faults of 'writers' who've never actually taken the trouble to learn to write before launching out on their would-be literary career. Like the stuff of young enthusiasts who think they can start replicating their idols without actually learning what words mean and how they can be used! Even the spelling seems carefully designed to cause the greatest possible dismay and horror to any unfortunate philologist who may chance upon it.

"And now if a whole nation fell into that? In such a case, I answer, infallibly they will return out of it. For life is no cunningly-devised deception or self deception, it is a great truth that thou art alive, that thou hast desires, necessities: neither can these subsist and satisfy themselves on delusions, but on fact. To fact, depend on it, we shall come back: to such fact, blessed or cursed, as we have wisdom for."
Thomas Carlyle
2014 May 20 13:37
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Eldritch
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RE: The Short Science Fiction Thread
(2014 May 20 13:37)Osweo Wrote:  I enjoyed that Things one (even though the supposed uniqueness of Earth's particular approach to multicellular life was hard to swallow news from a being that had been to innumerable worlds), but...

Yeah, that did seem a bit contrived. However I suppose otherwise the idea that the creature could at first not even imagine its behaviour being a perceived as a thread, would not have worked.

Plus, Watts likes nothing better than taking humanity down a peg or fourteen, so I suppose the idea that our brains are nothing more than cancerous tumors, which condemn the biomass into "monoformism" must have tickled him. Big Grin

Quote:What is it, then? A parody!? Seems like a deliberate exercise in cranking up to the maximum all the typical faults of 'writers' who've never actually taken the trouble to learn to write before launching out on their would-be literary career. Like the stuff of young enthusiasts who think they can start replicating their idols without actually learning what words mean and how they can be used! Even the spelling seems carefully designed to cause the greatest possible dismay and horror to any unfortunate philologist who may chance upon it.

Well, here's some more info on it. It was apparently written in all seriousness, although the writer was only 16 at the time. Apparently he spent the rest of his life trying to unsuccesfully live this down.

I like to look at the human self-model as a neurocomputational weapon, a certain data structure that the brain can activate from time to time.

Thomas Metzinger
2014 May 26 14:02
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