NASA’s pretty confident that December 21, 2012, won’t kick off the end of life as we know it, but what lies beyond might give us a run for our money too. As movies have taught us, the landscape ahead might be glittering and modern — or terrifying and bleak. The remix gurus at Eclectic Method have collected these scenarios, both utopian and nightmarish, and spun them into one mesmerizing video.
The U.S. government is surreptitiously collecting the DNA of world leaders, and is reportedly protecting that of Barack Obama. Decoded, these genetic blueprints could provide compromising information. In the not-too-distant future, they may provide something more as well—the basis for the creation of personalized bioweapons that could take down a president and leave no trace.
Read more. [Image: Miles Donovan]
Ray Bradbury, who died this week at 91, wrote vivid stories that are hard to imagine not knowing. The arcs and cadences of Bradbury’s writing are particularly indelible in his short stories rather than his novels: Bradbury could create and destroy a world in 15 pages. His stories took risks and never avoided strong emotions and a strong theme — strategies he borrowed from the popular fiction of the 1940s and 1950s, when he wrote much of his best work. Bradbury used those tools of emotion, pacing, and moral certitude to limn spaceflight, carnivals, robots friendly and murderous and something else, childhood (boyhood, really), autumn, family love, and horror.
Read more. [Image: Leslie Carr/Paleofuture]
I don’t want to deny that I write in fantasy, I think I obviously do. There’s magic and there’s dragons and swords, and all the traditional trappings of fantasy here. But I’ve also written in other genres in the past, a lot of science fiction, horror, and books that are strange hybrids of all of these things.
I’ve always agreed with William Faulkner—he said that the human heart in conflict with itself is the only thing worth writing about. I’ve always taken that as my guiding principle, and the rest is just set dressing. I mean, you can have a dragon, you can have a science fiction story set on a distant planet with aliens and starships, you can have a western about a gunslinger, or a mystery novel about a private eye, or even literary fiction—and ultimately you’re still writing about the human heart in conflict with itself. So that’s the way I try to approach this thing. And while I may work within a genre, I’ve never liked to be bound by them. I have a lot of fun in frustrating genre expectations, using a bit of this or a bit of that, and doing something that hasn’t been done before.
— George R.R. Martin, author of ”A Dance with Dragons” and creator of the series that inspired “Game of Thrones,” discusses sex, fantasy, and science fiction with Rachael Brown. Read more at The Atlantic.