Samuel Delany (previously) is one of science fiction's titans, a pioneer who was the first openly gay writer in the field, as well as one of the first Black science fiction writers to attain prominence.
In 1977, Delany saw a press preview of Star Wars on assignment for Cosmos Science Fiction and Fantasy; Delany's assessment of what made the film so tremendous contains shrewd observations about the many ways in which Lucas stitched together different filmmaking techniques and homages to film classics to create a sense of unreal reality that was both gritty and grand -- "worlds that look big enough to be worlds."
Delany notes that not all of the pulp homage in Star Wars holds up: "turbo-blasters" and "Kessel run in under three parsecs" and so on. But he reserves his sharpest criticism for the movie's treatment of people of color and women: "In Lucas’s future, the black race and yellow race have apparently died out and a sort of mid-Western American (with a few South Westerners who seem to specialize in being war ship pilots) has taken over the universe. By and large, women have also been bred out of the human race, and, save for the odd gutsy princess or the isolated and cowed aunt, humanity seems to be breeding quite nicely without them."
Delany wants to know how Lucas finds it easier to imagine a future filled with cool alien muppets, but not people of color?
In a bit of foreshadowing for future Disney Star Wars installments, Delany muses: "wouldn't that future have been more interesting if, say, three-quarters of the rebel pilots just happened to be Oriental women -- rather than the guys who didn't make it onto the Minnesota Ag football team. It would even be more interesting to the guys at Minnesota Ag. This is science fiction, after all."
Star Wars: A Consideration of the Great New SF Film [Samuel Delany/Cosmos Science Fiction and Fantasy]
Back in 2016, Naomi Kritzer won the Hugo award for her brilliant, endearing story Cat Pictures Please, in which an AI with an insatiable craving for cat pictures explains its view on the world and the way that it makes humans' lives better; now Kritzer has adapted the story into her new novel, the equally […]
Cecil Castellucci (previously) is a polymath artist: YA novelist, comics writer, librettist, rock star; her latest book, Girl on Film, is an extraordinary memoir of her life in the arts, attending New York's School for the Performing Arts (AKA "The Fame School") and being raised by her parents, who are accomplished scientists.
From the 1950s until the 1980s, Randy and Dotti Smith supplied a line of fantastic cast sculptures sold in Disney theme-park gift shops, especially a line of skulls sold in shops associated with the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean rides; these Randotti skulls haven't been sold in decades, you can still find used ones (at high prices) online, as Boing Boing pal and fabulous illustrator Coop discovered when he sourced an impressive collection of Randotti sculpts.
Need a boost on that resume? Get a valuable tech education on your own time with these eBook bundles. They contain guides from Packt Publishing that cover everything from game development to machine learning. The Complete Mobile App Developer eBook Bundle It’s a veritable gold rush in the App Store these days. Get in on […]
Vinyl is officially back. People are hearing the proof behind the initial “retro” excitement: that records really do have a richer sound. And if you haven’t switched to old-school records for serious listening, it’s a new golden age. Why? Because quality turntables like the Altec Lansing ALT-500 are finally available to a market other than […]
Between all of our apps, streaming devices, Bluetooth speakers, and energy-sucking decorations, paying for utilities each month can be…brutal. In fact, the average household spends roughly $70 a month on the water bill alone. That number might not seem terribly significant, but when you add it up, that’s $840 a year — a pretty significant […]