I've been reticent to leap angrily, ever since a wave of messages told me to look into the impressive new Kojima/Sony hit “Death Stranding” — likely to be Game of the Year -- commenting on its “obvious connection” to one of my most beloved works. Many - perhaps a third - of all major reviewers have also remarked on a family — or clone — resemblance, at the most basic levels of character, story arc and meaning. Not wanting to seem greedy, resentful or unfair, I chose to exercise some reserve. I haven't posted on my main blog about it.
But finally, the surge of references to my post-apocalyptic novel "The Postman" just got too massive. So I posted on my site for occasional reflections, on Medium. (https://tinyurl.com/KojimaPostman) Check out my history of not being litigious... plus enumerated reasons why - perhaps - I should make an exception this time.
Your thoughts are welcome.
== Fan-fic that’s worth something… even “canonical” ==
I finally got around to reading Stephen Collings’s fan-fic contribution to Isaac Asimov’s epic Foundation and Robots Universe -- Foundation's Resolve -- and I must say I was pleasantly surprised, all the more so reading further into the book, as SC’s authorial skills evidently improved. The plot is intricate and highly Asimovian-logical, offering up a Galaxy that’s riven by intrigue among many competing forces, most of them already present in Isaac’s cosmos, such as the ageless/powerful servant robot Daneel Olivaw and Hari Seldon’s beloved consort Dors Venabili. Central to the story is a 25,000 year collision of robot factions, between those who would ‘serve humanity’ by controlling Homo sapiens (for our own good) and others seeking to return mastery to the creator race.
Incorporated from Asimov’s final novels are the character Golan Trevize (“the Man Who Is Never Wrong”) and the macro-mind entity Gaia. Collings also strove — with much success — to continue forward the plot-propelling characters and development crafted by Gregory Benford, Greg Bear and myself, in the Second Foundation Trilogy. Especially significant — at least to me — was the way he heeded the fundamental logic that we related, following Isaac’s own explicit cues, for why Gaia/Galaxia cannot be “the” human end state, but merely one of many options in a diversity we’ll desperately need.’
There’s been no sign that the Asimov Estate will want more entries in the series… (before her passing. Janet Asimov expressed great pleasure in my own capstone contribution, Foundation's Triumph, which sought to tie together so many loose ends, even from obscure titles like Pebble in the Sky and The Currents of Space.) But if they ever do, I have notes that should be helpful. Moreover, I would not mind at all if Mr. Collings’s meticulously faithful and logical Foundation's Resolve were deemed “canonical,” helping guide future creators in this magnificent, sprawling playground.
== Miscellaneous News ==
An excellent profile of my colleague Ken Liu, who has been foremost in translating and discovering and bringing western awareness to the wave of fantastic Chinese science fiction authors who a boldly taking the genre in new directions.
"Author and futurist David Brin talks with Jim Rutt about optimism, ritualized combat,The Transparent Society, and the search for life in the universe. Beginning with the case for optimism, Brin takes on "Star Wars" and talks up "Star Trek" before dropping back to Adam Smith and Karl Popper. Those thinkers provided the intellectual framework for an "intensely regulated" capitalism that brought tremendous wealth increases for the middle class. He's wary that it could all be lost if people cling to righteous, divisive politics. Winner of Hugo Award and Nebula Awards, an acclaimed futurist, Brin advocates for compromise, cooperation and transparency that allows people to assess the data, participate in the discussion, and in processes for sustaining order. If that doesn't work, there's always outer space! Brin and Rutt end the interview with a discussion of SETI and the search for life in the universe."
A fun little essay on great old PS2 (or dreamcast) games that ought to be rebooted for PS4! And one favorite? ECCO THE DOLPHIN: DEFENDER OF THE FUTURE. Whose storyline and narration I wrote. "The story is dramatically narrated at key points and is brilliant in its absurdity. The alteration of the past and its gradual recovery by Ecco’s deeds make for some interesting world-building. Later stages feature abandoned underwater buildings and machinery in polluted waters. This is in stark contrast to the first chapter’s levels, where underwater exploration is tranquil and bursting with colour." Right on. Ecco forever!
The Science of Rick and Morty: The Unofficial Guide to Earth's Stupidest Show, by Matt Brady, is all about the real science in the most popular animated show on the planet (viewership may be inflated for dramatic purposes) - from the multiverse to cloning, living in a simulation to uplifting animals, including Snuffles and the other dogs of earth C-137. The series may play fast and loose with some (or a lot) of science, but it also gets some really big concepts into viewers heads – and how the show-runners are having fun messin’ with you!
Would be writers! Remember to have a look at my extensive essay of advice for new colleagues. Also, to do the workshopping you need, to get skills, well, you could do it the way I did and recruit a bunch of area locals to meet two Saturdays a month and critique each other’s works… or take a creative writing class where at least you’ll learn from the confusion of your classmates… and recruit the best ones for your private workshop.