Science fiction author Lavie Tidhar recently asked me to write a guest post on SF and class for his excellent World SF Blog, and the result went live this week. It’s a ranty little piece, but hopefully it maks some salient points – primarily that SF is middle class construct, and as such faces the same crisis that the western middle class faces in the 21st century:
This weekend saw the final unveiling of the the See No Evil project in Bristol; Europe’s largest street art exhibition. It is, to say the very least, an extraordinary, breathtaking achievement. Graffiti artists not just from Bristol but around the globe descended on Nelson Street, transforming the whole area from drab, urban decay into what feels like a new – almost virtual – space. It is truly something that needs to be experienced, but hopefully some of the photos I grabbed (along with the many on the official Flickr page) will give you some idea of its scale and raw beauty.
If you’ve read this site before, or even just glanced over it’s archives, then my appreciation and admiration of director Mamoru Oshii is clearly laid out. As such it would seem not only redundant but also somewhat self indulgent to elaborate further on my love of his tense political sci-fi dramas Ghost in the Shell and Patlabor, or his low budget, live action masterpiece Avalon. Ever since his latest feature film The Sky Crawlers was first announced I have been gripped with excitement and anticipation – although, as always, resigned to the long wait us western fans must endure before we are granted an audience. This week that wait finally ended, and putting aside my deep rooted fanboy allegiances for just under two hours, I was able to sit down and see if anime’s most esteemed auteur could still deliver the goods.
I was kind of intrigued earlier this week, while reading some of the pre-release hype around Pixar’s new, highly acclaimed CGI flick WALL-E. For those of you that have managed to miss it all, the film is set in a future where humans have been forced to abandon Earth due to pollution and environmental breakdown.
I was intrigued, because in a couple of interviews I read director/writer Andrew Stanton seemed to be going out of his way to play down any environmental message the film might have: