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Distinguished Bibliophile
Nadine
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Registered: ‎10-30-2006
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Science Fiction and Fantasy: A Window on Our World

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Science Fiction and Fantasy: A Window on Our World

Renée

"I now view my long road as a search for truth in my own heart, in the world around me, and in the bigger questions of purpose and of existence. How does one define good and evil." --Drizzt Do'Urden
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Your quote intrigued me (I am not familiar with the Dungeon series) along with your most interesting discussion in Religion or Science. Stories like HDM allow us to look at our own world from a different perspective. In many ways I think we find it difficult to look at some of our traditional beliefs through anything but our own rose-colored glasses. Things are too personal or we just take them for granted. SF&F says, OK this is a different world so don't consider it threaten to what you believe and pretend "what if" and then see how you would feel about these beliefs.

In HDM Government, science and religion seem to be all the same thing, or at least all under the same institution. Interestingly, the HDM world is not a Police State as you often find in such stories. People have remarkable freedom. It is just the core of thinkers and scientist seem to have a religious conviction and fear of their subject and its implications for what they hold in strong belief and the power of the government behind them to act as they wish.

The question I would like to put out is how certain incidences and revelations in HDM have caused you to look at our own world and, maybe specifically, your own beliefs in a different way. Even your side reading (or HDM Internet searches) may have unveil things you never really considered. These may not have necessarily changed your thinking but just inspired inquiry.
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Kreacherteacher
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy: A Window on Our World

I have always thought of fantasy as an escape, but with an eye on our reality. Pardon the pun for those of you who knw I am a big LoTR fan. Anyway, fantasy is a great genre to read and write as it allows you to go into different worlds, parallel universes :-) while exploring ideas more deeply from our own world. Themes of our world relate very closely to themes in fantasy books: tyranny, power, disllusionment, etc.

Interestingly enough, I just read a news article today on how Chavez, socialist leader of Venezuela, will be taking over private schools there if they refuse to use newly developed curricula and textbooks that his government will be in charge of. That's just sad. This man is a pretty successful propagandist. I imagine his textbooks will leave out pertinent historical information and put in fake pieces.

I honestly don't know how or if the Chavez info fits in, but it felt right to discuss it here.
Distinguished Bibliophile
Nadine
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy: A Window on Our World


Kreacherteacher wrote:
I have always thought of fantasy as an escape, but with an eye on our reality. Pardon the pun for those of you who knw I am a big LoTR fan. Anyway, fantasy is a great genre to read and write as it allows you to go into different worlds, parallel universes :-) while exploring ideas more deeply from our own world. Themes of our world relate very closely to themes in fantasy books: tyranny, power, disllusionment, etc.

Interestingly enough, I just read a news article today on how Chavez, socialist leader of Venezuela, will be taking over private schools there if they refuse to use newly developed curricula and textbooks that his government will be in charge of. That's just sad. This man is a pretty successful propagandist. I imagine his textbooks will leave out pertinent historical information and put in fake pieces.

I honestly don't know how or if the Chavez info fits in, but it felt right to discuss it here.




I think that is a very good and appropriate topic here. The society of HDM has not gone so far as to take control of education but it does do it with religious indoctrination. This is a very important topic of many science fiction and fantasy books. If the authorities can control what children learn, they can control what they ultimately believe and think. I am thinking off hand of the Orwellian world of 1984--"Ignorance is Strength" and the invention of Newspeak. Some of the Islamic schools that have come up recently in the news are teaching kids radical beliefs and turning them into "martyrs."
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gabesmom
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy: A Window on Our World

I have actually founf SF to be an exploration of reality - not an escape. I don't know if you've ever read anything by Philip K. Dick, but some of the things he imagined when he wrote in the 60's were pretty prophetical. I think SF allows writers to explore the nuances of their characters' humanity (or lack thereof) in a way that regular fiction can't always match.
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BarbaraN
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy: A Window on Our World



gabesmom wrote:
I have actually founf SF to be an exploration of reality - not an escape. I don't know if you've ever read anything by Philip K. Dick, but some of the things he imagined when he wrote in the 60's were pretty prophetical. I think SF allows writers to explore the nuances of their characters' humanity (or lack thereof) in a way that regular fiction can't always match.




I think part of the ability of SF to present controversial ideas and a better perspective is because they are set in a "make-believe" world, they don't seem threatening and people will take a more honest look at them. The reader is really sitting outside and seeing these events unfold and they can be explored from many angles that often couldn't possibly be stated ion current real-world time and situation. They also are less likely to offend someone, as long as they do not draw parallels too close to home.

I haven't read any of Philip Dick. Can you suggest something?
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gabesmom
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy: A Window on Our World

I would recomment The Man in the High Castle for your first read. It's an alternative universe where the Axis won WWII. Have you read Ursula Le Guin?
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BarbaraN
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy: A Window on Our World



gabesmom wrote:
I would recomment The Man in the High Castle for your first read. It's an alternative universe where the Axis won WWII. Have you read Ursula Le Guin?




No I haven't. I did get the first book of the Earthsea series but it is on my to-be-read pile. As I now glance at the series, there seems to be some similarities in overall design and direction with HDM.
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gabesmom
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy: A Window on Our World

For Ursula Le Guin, I would recommend The Left Hand of Darkness. The Earthsea series is good, but slow paced, but I find all of her work to be brilliant. If you are looking for a more SF type book from Dick, try Ubik. Let me know what is more to your taste. :smileyhappy:
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BarbaraN
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Registered: ‎11-08-2006
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy: A Window on Our World



gabesmom wrote:
For Ursula Le Guin, I would recommend The Left Hand of Darkness. The Earthsea series is good, but slow paced, but I find all of her work to be brilliant. If you are looking for a more SF type book from Dick, try Ubik. Let me know what is more to your taste. :smileyhappy:




I like thought-provoking science fiction. I'll get a copy of The Left Hand of Darkness and give it a try. Thanks.
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