Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far, Far Away... (guest blog)

Jacqueline Lichtenberg is observing Sukkot today, and we are delighted to welcome a guest author, Nathalie Gray, today.

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far, Far Away...MY ASS!

By: Nathalie Gray (www.nathaliegray.com)

That's how Rob Sawyer, He Who Rules Canadian Science Fiction, starts his speech about his favorite genre and how Star Wars ruined it.

I have to admit, I'm a fan of Star Wars for the villains. They're much more interesting than the heroes. Darth Vader? I'm there, baby. Darth Maul? Rawr! Hans Solo, meh, sure, he's cute only because it's Harrison Ford.

But I digress.

Sawyer looks at Star Wars and recent science fiction movies from a whole new angle. It shocked me so much, in fact, that I *had* to come share it with the lovelies at Alien Romances. The speech is broken into three portions of about 5 minutes each (see link below). So you're looking at a quarter of an hour. But I promise you, it's not wasted time. Especially the bit about the androids.

Oh, and because he rocks and rules and does it simultaneously, he also reminds people that the first true science fiction novel was written by a...


Yes. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein was the first story that hinged entirely on science. It was the science, the experiment, that drove the characters, triggered the conflict and registered so high on the Massively Addictive Index. When you start reading that story, you can't put it down.
Next time someone tells you scifi is for guys, you whip out your machete, erm, I mean, your copy of Frankenstein and tell them, "Dude, that chick was writing scifi before H.G. Wells was even BORN. Now kiss my feet."

To read Rob's comment about woman writers and science fiction, follow this link:


  1. That was interesting. Thanks for posting. Our SciFi Book Club just read Journey to the Center of the Earth and agreed with Rob Sawyer's comments on Jules Verne.

  2. Jules Verne...*insert fangirl sigh here*

    Love his stories. I read them in French as a teen as part of my school's curriculum. And then again not long ago, in English this time. It felt funny at first, but the translation was really well done.

    Rob rocks!

  3. Amen to that, Nathalie! I really enjoyed Sawyers' speech (I'd already listened to it a few months ago, but thanks for the link anyway!)

    A really good story inevitably has complex, intriguing villains. Even if the villain isn't human, he/she/it still needs to have substance, style, and flair. Frankly, I think a well crafted villain is a way to enlighten readers while also entertaining them.

    I really hope a lot of potential SF/SFR readers see this post because SF isn't something to fear. There are plenty of books that speculate about all kinds of ideas in so many different ways. And the female authors out there are doing amazing writing.

    Long live Mary Shelley's Frankenstein!

  4. Heyyyy! I remember your avatar. I saw it at Tor's online community. It's from the Captain Harlock TV series (Albator, to us French folks)! Ahhh, man, I miss that show. I have the whole thing on DVDs but can only watch it on the laptop because it's set to the European zone. He was my first recipient of a huge fangirl crush. I then moved on to Artemis Entreri (R.S. Salvatore's tormented assassin).

    Dude, your avatar ROCKS!

  5. Thanks for posting that.

  6. Yeah, I started the science fiction romance thread at Tor. Glad to meet another Harlock fan! I've got all kinds of Leiji Matsumoto creations on dvd plus all the usual manga/roman albums. Love that stuff.