Tag Archives: science fiction

What Has Happened?

I see F hastily cutting something with scissors and I say, “Be careful you don’t do what D did.”

What did D do?

“Didn’t he mention it? A few weeks ago I saw he had a bandage covering the tip of his index finger and I asked what happened. He said,

It was the stupidest thing. I was cutting open the top of a plastic milk bag, like this, and I just wasn’t paying attention. Snipped the very tip of my finger off. Couldn’t believe I did it.”

Not long after this memorable chat with F, I was back at D’s place and saw the bandage was gone. “All healed up, then?”

What do you mean?

“The tip of your finger.”

Which finger?

“Your index finger.”

He showed me his right hand. Undamaged. “Must have been your other hand.” Nothing. “Man, you made it sound like you had actually cut the tip of your finger off.”

What are you talking about?

So, knowing that D tends not to retain memories of small significance (and some of larger significance), I repeat to D the conversation I had with him several weeks before in front of his kitchen sink.

Not only does D not remember such a conversation, neither do any of his supposedly amputated fingertips. And D doesn’t reuse milk bags; I do. And the bandage was on his right hand; being right-handed, it would have been a left-hand injury.

At this point I concede, against the protestations of my mind, that the incident could only have occurred in a dream, not in lived experience outside of my imagination. “But,” I say, “I told F about that. And I know I’ve told other people. That was a moment in my life; but it never happened.”

What is this, a Philip K. Dick story? Am I a replicant, or am I struggling to achieve Total Recall?

Believe me, I’m happy for D that he isn’t short a fingerprint; but now this mind of mine has me in a quandary. Next time I’m approached amorously by Daryl Hannah, or Sharon Stone, or Kate Beckinsale , I’ll be hornswoggled: should I take it lying down, or jump out the window and wait for Jessica Biel to show up?

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Filed under family and relationships, Uncategorized

Here Comes My Big Brother: Robert J. Sawyer’s Wonder

Robert J Sawyer‘s 20th novel Wonder is being launched in Toronto tomorrow and will be in book stores on April 5th.

ROBERT J. SAWYER  Photo Credit: Christina Molendyk
ROBERT J. SAWYER Photo Credit: Christina Molendyk

Since 2008, I have been attending talks by Sawyer in Moncton, Montreal and Toronto, on a range of topics covering writing, publishing, science and philosophy.

I recently interviewed him for the second time. The first time was at the beginning of his WWW trilogy about the World Wide Web spontaneously becoming self-aware; this time his trilogy is concluded. Please read my article Here Comes My Big Brother: Robert J. Sawyer’s Wonder posted at AE The Canadian Science Fiction Review

or for a very abbreviated version of the interview please read http://www.postcity.com/Eat-Shop-Do/Do/March-2011/Wonder-lust-Robert-J-Sawyer-launches-his-latest-novel/ at www.PostCity.com (where you may encounter more of my writings).

Wake

Wake

Watch

Watch

Wonder

Wonder

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Filed under book reviews, interviews, life not human, Optimism & Inspiration, writing

Battle LA Was Not “Blah”!

I lost the battle of “should we go?” but my extremely low expectations paid off!

Battle LA was not “blah”; it was kind of fun. It has all the artistic merits of a trip on a roller coaster. This is a movie you don’t want to arrive late for. Not that you’d have trouble following the plot or miss any witty dialogue. Every line was distinctly unmemorable. But it starts like a cat in a bath.

It would not make a good stage play. Well, possibly a musical.

No complaints about the capable cast (the demands of the script did not exceed their range), and I didn’t hear a yawn through the whole thing.

The story often lacked realism, and I don’t mean what Dr Seth Shostak of SETI recently said at “The Great Extraterrestrial Debate” for the Centre For Inquiry in Toronto, about aliens having better things to do than to wander way the hell out to this uninteresting part of the galaxy. He did in fact say that, if aliens do come all this way, we can expect to get the kind of treatment that indigenous populations often get when they are “discovered” by a technologically superior group.

No, the shortcomings I mean are, for lack of a better word, subtler than that. But I don’t want to spoil it for you by saying the kid takes it pretty well when his dad dies. …Oops.

 

For published film reviews, please see About the writer.

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Filed under film reviews, life not human

Let’s Not See “Battle LA” Tonight

One brother asked another if he’d like to see a film called Battle LA.

The response paraphrased Jean-Luc Picard in one of the great moments in science fiction cinema:

“…..No! NOOOOOOO! ….I will not see that film. We’ve been disappointed too many times before. We’ve believed the previews, and been let down. We’ve seen blockbuster after blockbuster, and been let down. Well, I say, no more! The line must be drawn HERE! THIS far! NO farther! And I….will wait for the DVD!”

(Props to Alfre Woodard, too!)

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Filed under life not human