How much fiction is in fact based on non-fiction, or actual events?

Monday, 27 October, 2014

It is widely assumed that the work of many fiction writers is in some way autobiographical, or based, in part at least, on their personal experience. Why then go to sometimes elaborate lengths to disguise their writing as fiction?

Eager to find a form of expression for ideas or feelings that would upset a status quo we are all heavily invested in, writers have often invented stories quite different from their own biographies or from the political situation in which they find themselves, but that nevertheless reconstitute the play of forces, the dilemmas and conundrums behind their own preoccupations.

So there’s some actual doubt, I’d say. You never know how useful that might be one day.

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How reading the “Harry Potter” books made me a better person

Thursday, 18 September, 2014

Not only will you be treated to a gripping yarn when you read the “Harry Potter” books, you may also emerge a better person, says a study that found readers of the saga tended to become more empathic by the time they had read through the series:

For decades it’s been known that an effective means of improving negative attitudes and prejudices between differing groups of people is through intergroup contact – particularly through contact between “in-groups,” or a social group to which someone identifies, and “out-groups,” or a group they don’t identify with or perceive as threatening. Even reading short stories about friendship between in- and out-group characters is enough to improve attitudes toward stigmatized groups in children.

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Batman versus The Terminator, is that a contest or what?

Tuesday, 11 March, 2014

Batman takes on, or rather prepares to take on, the Terminator in a post apocalyptic Los Angeles in 2029, as animated by Mitchell Hammond… that’s one square off combination I’d not thought of until now.

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Eternity is a long time to spend writing Harry Potter books

Monday, 10 March, 2014

By applying a differing interpretation to the prophecy that either Harry Potter, or his nemesis Voldemort, must kill the other in order to survive, could mean that the only one way either can actually die, is to be killed by the other.

As we know one did in fact kill the other (I’ll refrain from giving away the ending away on the off chance you still don’t know what happened…), meaning the survivor is now immortal. Well, that’s one take on the wording of prophecy in any event.

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For every superhero there is an individual superpower

Tuesday, 9 July, 2013

I’m really out of touch with superheroes these days, and there’d be a dozen, maybe two dozen characters, that I could think of. Yet as this chart of superheroes, and their often diverse range of superpowers shows, there’s probably enough to populate a small town.

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Lara Croft as a boy… isn’t that a Björk song?

Wednesday, 3 July, 2013

Lara Croft as a male, image by Raffael

Depictions of fictional adventurer, and tomb raider, Lara Croft, if she were male… if that makes any sense. All the work, I believe, of Raffael, a German digital artist.

I’m glad we’ve cleared that one up then.

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“Fahrenheit 451”, burn after reading, we’ve even supplied a match

Wednesday, 13 March, 2013

Fahrenheit 451 book cover by Elizabeth Perez

“Fahrenheit 451”, is a novel by late US author Ray Bradbury, written in 1953, and set at a point in the future were books have been outlawed, and burned if discovered by the authorities… what a bleak prospect.

I wonder though if Bradbury ever envisaged a cover for his book along the lines of the one designed by Elizabeth Perez?

Via John Green.

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The breakfast of fictional characters, whatever you can imagine

Wednesday, 6 March, 2013

While the way a person crosses a street may say something about them, so does their choice of breakfast food, at least as far as literary and film characters go anyway:

James Bond is a pedant at the morning meal (“his favourite meal of the day”). His routine when stationed in London, as detailed in From Russia with Love, always comprises “very strong coffee from De Bry in New Oxford Street, brewed in an American Chemex, of which he drank two large cups, black and without sugar”. Foodwise it is a speckled brown egg from a French Marans hen, boiled for exactly three and a third minutes (“it amused him to think there was such a thing as a perfect boiled egg”). It is always served with wholewheat toast and a selection of preserves and a “pat of deep yellow Jersey butter”. Such fussiness conceals a deadlier truth. “I know all about you,” Miranda Frost warns him in the most memorable line of Die Another Day. “Sex for dinner, death for breakfast. Well, it’s not going to work with me.”

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I’ll have what Holden Caulfield is having for breakfast

Thursday, 7 February, 2013

The Catcher in the Rye meal, by Dinah Fried

Photos of the meals eaten by the fictitious, including characters from “The Catcher in the Rye”, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, and “Moby Dick”, by San Francisco based designer Dinah Fried.

Via Bobulate.

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What does the future hold? Your guess is as good as science fiction

Tuesday, 14 August, 2012

A timeline of future events consisting of predictions made mainly by science fiction writers.

While some predictions of science fiction have come to pass, if we were to compile a calendar of future events based on speculative fiction (taking in works from both science fiction and fantasy genres), we would run some hazards – not least the natural reluctance of authors to affix specific dates to their imaginings. Think, for instance, of the novels set in the not-too-distant (Man Plus) or far, far future (Ender’s Game), or perhaps a dystopic future (Farhenheit 451, Anthem) such as, oh, after some apocalyptic event (The Last Man, Oryx and Crake), not to mention those that follow alternate time (Foundation series) and world systems (Anathem) entirely. By leaving their dates murky, writers allow their predictions the possibility of eventually coming true.

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