April 12, 2016

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Make Believe As Metaphor

Most of my posts are about poetry, so you may not know that I am a huge SF/F buff.

It started early, with my family watching Star Trek re-runs in the 1970s.

My father -- who saw himself in Captain James T. Kirk -- took us kids to see Star Wars on Mother's Day, 1977, hoping for shorter lines and some quiet time for my mom and new baby brother.

Dozens of classic (and "new classic") SF/F novels later, I can tell you what I love about the genre. It's all about the metaphor.

Ursula K. LeGuin's Left Hand of Darkness -- on my re-reading list -- used alien/human relationships to explore xenophobia, and homophobia.

A new dystopian YA novel, Matched by Ally Condie, looks at a society where statistics have become the basis for everything from your job to your life-partner. (Read a review here.) "The Society" even tracks the games teenagers play, gleaning information that will help match them with the optimal job and person. These are the same techniques that businesses use today to track our buying habits and target advertisements at potential customers.

Little Patuxent Review's Make Believe issue, which comes out this month, features an essay on make believe and why fantasy films and literature are both popular and important. The essay is by Vonnie Winslow Crist, whom I've blogged about before.

Stop by LPR to check out my preview of Vonnie's essay, find out why the CDC wants us to be prepared for zombies, and read a review of Vonnie's new book, The Greener Forest.

You can find LPR on Facebook (please "like" us!) or subscribe to the journal through our website,

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