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Pete's Sci-Fi Blog

About the blog

This blog is about: Science Fiction and Fantasy. Games, books, films, comics, as well as my experiences with the writing and publishing of my Kinsmen series of books. I hope you enjoy it.The Kinsmen homepage

B is for Babylon 5

Influences Posted on Fri, October 25, 2013 17:37:37

Babylon 5 was ace and a huge influence on me. I love the episodic formula and the huge story arc which spanned the entire series. Sure the effects look a little dated now. Sinclair – The station commander during the first season was a little wooden and it was quite rough around the edges. However a lot of shows which show promise (Heroes and Lost, I’m looking at you) early on, just fizzle out.

Babylon 5 had a visionary. J. Michael Straczynski is a genius. He knew exactly where he was going with it and he pulled it off. I find it difficult to think of many shows which have such scope and structure; standing up for this length of time.

The episodes themselves were good but what made it great was the story arcs which cropped up and slowly but surely became what the show was truly about. The Shadows and the Vorlons are two of the most mysterious and cool characters ever to be conceived on screen. The underground fight against a corrupt totalitarianism Earth had me gripped. The writing is so clever it still fires the imagination over twenty years after it was first aired.

So much can be learned from a series like Babylon 5. Alot of sci-fi series have come and gone, I really hope the next one is set in such a rich well illustrated Universe and knows how to tell a good story.

One of my favourite scenes. The Vorlon Kosh almost throttles Sheridan for potty mouthing him, without even touching the guy. Don’t mess with the Vorlons.

A is for Asimov

Influences Posted on Sat, September 07, 2013 15:41:14

The other day at University I casually asked a work colleague what she had done during the summer. Her response was – writing a book. Non-fiction as it turned out in her field of expertise. Obviously I couldn’t help but mention that I too had written a book, a Science-fiction novel. “I love Science-fiction,” she replied. I was thrilled. Even more so when she told me she loved Isaac Asimov.

All my memories of his fantastic stories came rushing to the surface and I realised how much of an influence he is on my writing, even, probably, after over a decade of reading one of his many books.

I have heard reasons why some people don’t hold him in such high esteem. That his writing is simplistic or they believe there’s is too much dialogue, which is trying to drive the narrative. I couldn’t disagree more.

Asimov is one of the biggest names in Science fiction and like anyone who has become popular they have their critiques. The technology in his earlier work is obviously dated, but I believe this is becoming a sub-genre akin to the popular steampunk.

When everything is said and done. The core of his stories are the twists in his tales and the dramatic interplay between characters. After reading his novels I found it easy to predict the outcome of a great many films with apparent clever plots.

I cannot stress enough how his books have inspired writers of books, television and film. These novels set within the Universe of the Spacers, the Galactic Empire and then the Foundation, span thousands of years and can become something very precious and close to your heart. There are scenes there which are some of the most powerful I have ever read, and still seem as powerful on recollecting them now.

I could try and explain so many reasons why it is worth reading Isaac Asimov’s science-fiction, but like most things in life, you must experience it yourself.

I read this one twice I enjoyed it so much