A Science Fiction And Fantasy Reader’s Guide : Life Kit : NPR

Photograph of a person reading a book in a dark room. The book is emitting light.
Photograph of a person reading a book in a dark room. The book is emitting light.

If reading fiction is an exercise in empathy, a way for you to see the world through someone else’s eyes, then reading science fiction and fantasy ups the ante. You still see through someone else’s eyes, but the world you’re seeing could be a distant planet, an alternate timeline, a land of magic and mystery, or maybe, our own familiar world, just … tweaked a bit. Also, that someone else might have four eyes, or eight, or none at all. I’m Glen Weldon, one of the hosts of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour, and we’re teaming up with Life Kit for a beginner’s guide to science fiction and fantasy, so I’m joined by NPR Books editor Petra Mayer, who’s just a little bit of a sci-fi and fantasy fan.

People have a lot of preconceived ideas about sci-fi and fantasy — that it’s for nerds, that it’s just about spaceships

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Classic Science Fiction About Extremely Long Naps

Sleep! How precious, how precarious! Perhaps we have apnea. Perhaps we own a cat who believes motionless humans are food. Perhaps we are simply aware that up to forty thousand redback spiders can fit into the volume of the average pillow. But sleep can be overdone. Imagine waking to discover that decades or centuries have passed…

This is a convenient way for an author to arrange for a protagonist not unlike the reader to tour an alien setting. Unsurprisingly, a lot of authors have taken advantage of the plot possibilities of the long sleep.

Consider these five classic science fiction examples.

 

Looking Backward: 2000-1887 by Edward Bellamy (1888)

Julian West falls asleep in Gilded Age America. He does not wake until the year 2000. By this time, the United States has been comprehensively transformed almost beyond imagination. On his own, poor Julian would have been completely at sea in this

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Director Villeneuve says science fiction epic ‘Dune’ more relevant today

Sept 3 (Reuters) – Tackling politics, religion, the fight for precious resources and the environment, Frank Herbert’s 1965 epic science fiction novel “Dune” is more relevant to today’s audiences, director Denis Villeneuve said on Friday as he brought his ambitious adaptation to the Venice Film Festival.

An ensemble cast led by Timothee Chalamet stars in the mammoth project, set in the future where noble families rule planetary fiefs.

Villeneuve, known for “Blade Runner 2049” and “Sicario”, read Herbert’s 400-page book as a child and described it as a “portrait of the 20th century” which through time became “a prediction of what will happen in the 21st”.

“Sadly the book is by far more relevant today about the danger of the blend between … religion and politics, the danger of messianic figures, the impact of colonialism … the problem with the environment,” he told a news conference.

“His book stayed with

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How the metaverse moved from science fiction to reality

The metaverse is a network of always-on virtual environments in which many people can interact with one another and digital objects while operating virtual representations – or avatars – of themselves.


Think of a combination of immersive virtual reality, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game and the web.

The metaverse is a concept from science fiction that many people in the technology industry envision as the successor to today’s internet. It’s only a vision at this point, but technology companies like Facebook are aiming to make it the setting for many online activities, including work, play, studying and shopping.

Metaverse is a portmanteau of meta, meaning transcendent, and verse, from universe. Sci-fi novelist Neal Stephenson coined the term in his 1992 novel “Snow Crash” to describe the virtual world in which the protagonist, Hiro Protagonist, socializes, shops and vanquishes real-world enemies through his avatar. The concept predates

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