You certainly shouldn't judge Asimov by the mediocre movies people have made out of them.
To see what I, Robot COULD have been as a movie, look out for Harlan Ellison's unfilmed screenplay.
Make sure your chiropractor's name plate doesn't say "M.Munigant"...
That name sends a wave of cold dread running down my spine!
She stood silently looking out into the great sallow distances of sea bottom, as if recalling something, her yellow eyes soft and moist...
I've switched from Chiropractors to an amazing Osteopath, who, as far as I know, does not like breadsticks!
I understand I shouldn't be bias in selecting books to read, but there are so many I wish to read, but school keeps me preoccupied. Unless a book highly appeals to me then I'm more than likely not to read it. Anyways, thanks for the recommendation again. Eventaully, I give Asimoc a chance.
On a side note, I've read 3/4 of Fahrenheit 451 and find it to be a very interesting book. Not sure if it meets the high expectations that everyone has set for it, but it is definitly a good read.
If I can catch you while you are still online, get yourself over to the ASK Bradbury a Question forum, and clarify your question... THANKS!
Free sci-fi mag online at:thelordshen.com
I have heard of good and poor sci-fi classes. I would love to connect it to history or to writing. The connection to history (as to politics) is found in the abuses that arise with growing power in the hands of fallible humans. The connection to writing would be fabulous for people who were still young enough at heart to believe in the changes that are the future, while developing the understanding of the past (with perhaps a chilling of nihilism beginning to creep in). In other words, high school sophomores.
A two semester study of SF would be fascinating if I had the time, the money, and if something like that were offered here on the prairie.
The coursework might include some foundational material, like Ovid, Dante, Bocaccio; then Shelley, Stoker, Poe, Wells, more, Lovecraft, moving forward to more contemporary authors to include the grandmasters, Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, and Bradbury.
There might be some discussion on how Ovid, etc, could be a foundation for modern SF. Then, perhaps, a segment on where SF is going.
Aside to philnic, sorry I missed your above post about the Harlan Ellison treatment of Asimov's "I, Robot" until now. I grabbed that book when it first came out, before the Will Smith movie, and I completely agree that it's an excellent example of how Asimov could be filmed. Friends who have borrowed and read, agree.
LordShen, did you ever try going to a Chiropractor? Just wondering. The one that I and wife and daughter are going to is very good.
He is not so much for cracking the bones (adjusting) but stretching and relaxing the muscles so that the vertebrae and bones become realigned properly and thus relieving the undo pressure and pain
[QUOTE]Originally posted by ravenswake:
The coursework might include some foundational material,... There might be some discussion on how Ovid, etc, could be a foundation for modern SF. Then, perhaps, a segment on where SF is going.
Ravenswake--that is just what I would like to work out. I teach English and lit. to 8th graders, but I might move to an older crowd later. It would be such a pleasure to teach a course like that. I would certainly need all the details taped before I pitched it, so I toy with my ideas.
What would I do for the youth? Say high school kids? That is to say, those not exposed heretofore? What selections would bridge them over to the other side? What would show them what they have been missing?
That is my current plaything.
Daedalus and Icarus (flight as the first fantasy), Narcissus (change as a constant), Hercules (neat stories and availability of visuals)--these are Ovid classics that might fire up the beginnings of imagination for an SF class.
But, even though there are a couple of English teachers in my immediate family, I'm just a small town cop with an English degree. Others here--Mr. Dark, fjp451, lmskipper, to name a few--are gifted teachers and better suited to address your question, Priory. Hope you get to teach this someday.
astromopar: Did you finish F451? Just curious.
Priory: High school sophomores? I'm not sure if that's meant to be praise for kids for a slam against science fiction, though it would be rather funny as both. I would have loved to have had a SF class in public school. The closest thing I had was a class in jr. high called Power Reading. We had required reading, but also had a lot of free time to read whatever we wished. The teacher, unfortunately, cared little for science fiction and knew even less, so she was never any help in suggesting stuff for me to read. I wound up reading Robotech and things of that nature on my own. To her credit, however, one of the required books was H.G. Wells' classic The Time Machine. We also watched the 1960s (am I right with that date?) film. I was VERY happy for that.
My only suggestion for teaching a science fiction class is this: at that age (teenage or pre-teen) it seems like (from memory, experience and observation) so many teachers try to stress teh important parts of science fiction. With 1984 it's always the concepts of freedom and duty. With A Clockwork Orange it's once again about individuality and conformity. With Starship Troopers it's about one's civic responsibilities. To be honest, when you're that age, you relatively could care less, though the concepts may be understood and appreciated for some level of value. My point is: if the book truly is good and if the writer has done his/her job well, the ideas, themes and such will come through loud and clear with little or no explanation. Let the books stand on their own and don't overly stress what you think is important. It'll come anyways. Let the kids have fun reading, then open the discussion to whatever they want. I find here on the Bradbury forums a lot of people that read F451 as a child and one of the images stuck in their head was the robotic dog thingy. Very intimidating, indeed, but hardly the overall premise of the tale. Yet, it stays with people and has importance in that it's a stand-in for the mindless, aggressive pursuing nature of the society that Montag lives in. Of course, I'm not saying no kid at any age couldn't understand the beast-machine as such, but if they wanna talk about how cool it is, let them and the rest will come.
Another example: A classic SF movie from the 50s was The Blob. Why was it popular at the time (some would say a cult hit for the younger crowd)? Because it was cool and simply put: fun. But once you sit down to watch it you find a sense of rebellious helplessness that can speak to kids that are on the verge of adulthood yet feel nothing in this world (except for, maybe, themselves) is within their power. That can really speak to someone, to anyone really... at any age. In a sense, it has a similar theme or ideas as Rebel Without A Cause...
I suggest all this not in an attempt to suggest that you're a bad teacher nor to suggest you don't know how to teach. I would never presume to know you so well. Nor would I so flagrantly insult anyone on these forums. I suggest it because my own memories of reading in school often times seemed overwhelmed with discussions about what the teacher thought was important about a book instead of letting the kids talk about what THEY saw was important or cool or confusing or whatever. I truly am trying to be helpful here.
As for suggestions for books for a class: You might want to check out Lord Dunsany and Stanislaw Lem, too. Dunsany maybe not so much due to the language (elaborate... not vulgar) and because he's often considered the founder of modern fantasy. Not sure if you want to dip into fantasy. It seems fantasy does well enough on it's own anyways.
Lem is a very good writer and had a lot of high adventure stuff and even fantasy tales populated entirely by robots with little or no explanation as to why.
The first SF class I took via a telecourse on public access had a very good reading list and if you'd like I'll dig it up and repost it here for you.
There are a lot of good suggestions here from other people. I hope they help you
biplane1: No, I've never seen a chiropractor. Not really for any practical purposes. I simply haven't gone to one. I have a lot of other problems to deal with in my life and it can be difficult to juggle them all. The most recent thing has been swelling in my leg caused by poor circulation. I was born with really only 3/4ths of a heart and it's causing all this (my heart was underdeveloped and so I have no right ventricle). So you can see a little pain in the neck (literally) means very little to me in the course of things. But I appreciate your time and suggestion and if I should ever need to really attend to the disc and associated pains, I will keep you and the suggestion in mind. I thank you.
ravenswake: I never thought of Ovid in relation to SF... how odd that I never thought such things. Mayhaps I shall better acquaint myself with Ovid's works.
Thanx, folks. Keep the comments coming!
Free sci-fi mag online at:thelordshen.com
By all means start with a section from myths! These "Classics" were fiction in an attempt to deal with rudimentary science. Mary Shelley, Poe, Wells, Stevenson got the modern SF ball rolling, BUT look to the Greek story-tellers: Ovid, Hesiod, Homer, Pausanias (the traveller), Virgil, Catullus, and Horace. They wrote of life. Their metaphors abound, and the twist of the fantastic is in every verse.
Mr. B said he was inspired in much of The Martian Chronicles by Egyptian myths and that land's ancient culture. So, a course in modern science fiction must pay dues to the roots from which it has sprung!
Sounds like an interesting path, Priory! Good luck.
You know, I'd add Children of Man to the reading list.
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