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Sci-Fi Fantasy

Passing Thoughts

From time to time I have thoughts that I feel might be of interest to you so this is where you will find them. It could be on a film, a book or even how something as taboo as death is handled. If you want to read my thoughts you don't need to scan my brain - as they did in the film Scanners -you only have to click on one of the live links below

While I Was Sleeping

Having watched the Lord of the Rings video - Return of the King for the umpteenth time, I came to reflect on the way that death is handled in the world of fiction.

Whilst the city of Minas Tirith is under siege from Saurons orcs ; Gandalf explains to Pippin that death is only the beginning of another journey and there's nothing to be afraid of. In comparison, in Sabriel, a science fantasy novel by Garth Nix full of Necromancers and free magic, death is handled differently. In this tale the dead are the enemy and it's Sabriel's job is to prevent the dead from walking in life for " that is not their path".

"I wonder if the way death is handled affects whether we enjoy a book or not."

My mother for example found Sabriel disturbing and macabre. I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that she's approaching her later years and the she has an increased awareness of death. Maybe we are all frightened ,whether we admit it or not, and Sci-fi often offers an alternative.

I was amazed in Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy where planet earth is completely destroyed by the 4th chapter to make way for an intergalactic highway. A very cavalier and light-hearted start to a story which sets the tone for the rest of the book.

And so to Harry Potter which I thoroughly enjoy and regularly read every night before I go to sleep. The characters don't seem to go away when dead; for example they regularly appear waving out of photograph albums, portraits or chocolate frog cards. I'd love to know how this is supposed to work, but then that's magic for you.!

In conclusion, the endings of science fiction/fantasy novels are many and varied. I personally enjoy the books where death is not the end of life but the beginning of a new journey.

The Hermit.

Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince

It seems like only the other day I ventured forth from my cave with my faithful pet crab and armed with biscuit supplies to place an order for the new J K Rowling, Harry Potter book which was out that July.

Having duly paid a £1.00 deposit and obtained a receipt the shop assistant informed me that the shop would be open from midnight on July 16th if I'd like to obtain it then. I was quite taken aback and was assured that my copy would still be available at 9.00am in the morning.

This got me thinking about all those people who poo-poo Sci-Fi Fantasy novels. What other series of books in the history of 1st editions would excite this amount of fanatiscism. J.K.Rowling has allowed it to be cool to be seen reading!

Not long ago the BBC ran a poll through out the land to find the top 100 favorite books. If I'm not mistaken 4 out of 5 of the top 5 books were Sci-Fi Fantasy.

I rest my case!

The Hermit

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