Thursday, June 26, 2008

Video: "A Galaxy Far, Far Away" My Ass!

OMG, this is the coolest thing ever!

Back on October 2, 2007, I gave a talk at the University of Waterloo entitled "A Galaxy Far, Far Away" My Ass!, about science fiction's relevance for the here and now.

TVOntario's lecture series Big Ideas was on hand to record it, and an MP3 of the soundtrack has been online here for a while.

Well, a fine fellow named Evan Steacy has now taken that soundtrack and put images to it, making a wonderful trio of YouTube videos out of my talk. He came up with the perfect image for just about every point I was making.

Episode 1: Planet of the Apes, Star Trek, and Frankenstein (6 minutes, 48 seconds)

Episode 2: H.G. Wells and Jules Verne (4 minutes, 0 seconds)

Episode 3: Star Wars (5 minutes, 17 seconds)

Or you can watch them right here:



Episode 1: Planet of the Apes, Star Trek, and Frankenstein (6:48)



Episode 2: H.G. Wells and Jules Verne (4:00)



Episode 3: Star Wars (5:17)

Many, many thanks, Evan!

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


12 Comments:

At June 26, 2008 3:47 PM , Blogger Evan said...

I'm glad you like it!

 
At June 26, 2008 5:14 PM , Blogger ryan mannik said...

Hey, speaking of starwars videos, I made the music and the "animation" for this. It's sort of "animated" in the sense that rocket robin hood was animated ;) You may like it, it's just silly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0-XKl6lLCU

 
At June 26, 2008 10:29 PM , Blogger TomR said...

OK, that made my night! I've always been a little uneasy about C3P0 and R2's "roles" in the story, especially since they do exhibit sentient behavior, but I hadn't made the slave connection 'til you brought it up. Yeeks, I'm going to have to re-watch the trilogy and think about when machines become sentient in the real world... at least until "Wake" comes out. ;-)

And special thanks for posting the mp3 link of your speech; I'd made the comment in regards to your post "Calculating God at U of T" about your posting your speeches, and I was very glad to not only hear but also "see" this talk.

 
At June 26, 2008 10:34 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Tomr!

Cheers,

Rob

 
At June 27, 2008 12:49 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Rob, as always your talks are highly entertaining. You're a natural!

There is only one thing I don't agree with and I heard it before. I don't think that "Frankestein" is the first SF novel. I would say that Cyrano de Bergerac's two novels are the first SF novels ever written. I quote from wikipedia:

'Bergerac's most prominent works are his duo of proto-science fiction novels,The Other World: The Comical History of the States and Empires of the Moon (1657) and "The Comical History of the States and the Empires of the Sun" (incomplete at his death) which describe fictional journeys to the Moon and Sun. The methods of space travel he described are inventive, often ingenious, and sometimes rooted in science.'

I've read them more than fifteen years ago, but as I remember they could easily pass as SF if published nowadays.

 
At June 27, 2008 1:02 AM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Hi, Costi. Interesting! Critic Brian Aldiss makes the case for Frankenstein being the first SF novel in his history of the field, Billion Year Spree. It's well worth reading.

 
At June 27, 2008 8:15 AM , Blogger Evan said...

I'm happy you like the slideshow, Rob!

 
At July 25, 2008 2:13 PM , Blogger alau said...

I enjoyed this alot! Thanks for posting it!

 
At July 25, 2008 2:15 PM , Blogger Kristen said...

I had the same thought Costi did re: Cyrano de Bergerac's seventeenth century SF- and am jealous of Costi for apparently having managed to read both of them completely. I've only ever been able to find excerpts. (He'd probably get more respect as an author if Rostand's fictionalized version of his life hadn't completely eclipsed his legacy, not that it isn't a great play.)

Debates about the origin of the genre aside, great talk! The problems with Star Wars, even in the original trilogy, go far beyond "Isn't saving the Princess more of a Fantasy plot than SF?" but it isn't often that you hear the more serious issues really examined, other than in a Clerks-discussing-contractors-on-the-Death-Star way.

 
At July 26, 2008 10:50 AM , Blogger Debra Moore said...

I'm in the middle of writing a scifi romance at the moment. The possibilities for covering more of the bigger issues are endless, and I'm going to make an attempt at doing that. Fantastic vids! Thanks so much for the inspiration!

 
At August 29, 2009 8:52 PM , Blogger Junk Monkey said...

What a great talk! And thanks for doing for me the very thing you warn against. Someone pointed me to your lecture after I ranted in an SF forum about how Star Wars was responsible for the shittiness and dumbing down of everything - well, SF movies anyway - it was nice to know that I was not alone. It was nice to have my prejudices verified?/ re-enforced? by a real SF writer. Talk to most 'fans' about Star Wars and you're soon into the "Yeah, you know that bit is like way cool" level of film criticism.
I have vague memories of an article by Fred Pohl (or was it Robert Silverberg?) pointing out that the final shots of SW were a direct steal from Leni Riefenstahl's Nazi propaganda masterpiece Triumph of the Will. As he (whichever he he was) pointed out: our 'heroes' were even wearing jackboots!

 
At August 29, 2009 8:52 PM , Blogger Junk Monkey said...

What a great talk! And thanks for doing for me the very thing you warn against. Someone pointed me to your lecture after I ranted in an SF forum about how Star Wars was responsible for the shittiness and dumbing down of everything - well, SF movies anyway - it was nice to know that I was not alone. It was nice to have my prejudices verified?/ re-enforced? by a real SF writer. Talk to most 'fans' about Star Wars and you're soon into the "Yeah, you know that bit is like way cool" level of film criticism.
I have vague memories of an article by Fred Pohl (or was it Robert Silverberg?) pointing out that the final shots of SW were a direct steal from Leni Riefenstahl's Nazi propaganda masterpiece Triumph of the Will. As he (whichever he he was) pointed out: our 'heroes' were even wearing jackboots!

 

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