Science Fiction

Re-watched Dune

Watched Dune: Part One from

A noble family becomes embroiled in a war for control over the galaxy’s most valuable asset while its heir becomes troubled by visions of a dark future.

I thought I’d want to split this into two nights, but two and a half hours went faster than I recalled.

The Emperor plotline makes very little sense, unless it’s meant to serve as a warning to all the other houses.

I don’t think they pulled off a cohesive culture for the Atreides: they drew from multiple cultures, but pulled directly from them rather than integrating them — a Japanese tree inside their home on Caladan, Spanish bullfighting, Scottish bagpipes. To me, that felt worse than just adapting elements into something unified, but it could be intentional to remind us the Atreides are colonizers, or I suppose the filmmakers could be accused of cultural appropriation if they changed things? I think they’re more successful in creating the technology: tools like thumpers and the compass thing feel real, the projector technology is cool, and the way thopters fly seems to have been thought through.

Jessica is a badass, and I hope she gets more of a chance to use her power and skills in part two.

I’m still not sold on Gurney’s character. The intensity of the training scene is fantastic — and then there are weird moments insufficient to give him character, like awkwardly joking with his lord, then flipping his shit any time anyone else disrespects or even approaches him. My husband said he’s meant to be a bard but all his guitar scenes were removed. It’s also a shame he’s not given an on screen death — I wonder if it got cut. Or maybe he lives and I’ve forgotten in the twenty years since I read the book 😂

Some scenes in this movie are great, while others make me go huh, why did they keep that.

The Harkonnen sudden focus on exterminating the Fremen people feels like it comes out of nowhere.


Re-watched Dune – November 2022

Re-watched Dune – July 2022

Watched Dune – October 2021


Imbue world building with a sense of history through embedded mini stories

Bookmarked Don’t Just Create One Big Story, Build a Mosaic of Tiny Stories! by Charlie Jane Anders (

A really interesting story, often as not, is one that atomizes down into a bunch of smaller stories that feed into the main narrative.

How many of the details in the story, how many of the touchstones, contain stories of their own? Characters can have backstories, but so can places and things.

An interesting approach to world building — though I’ll admit I often don’t care that much about that level of detail 😂


Combine multiple real places for rich imagined ones



DNF The Rings of Power S1E1

Watched A Shadow of the Past from

Galadriel is disturbed by signs of an ancient evil's return. Arondir makes an unsettling discovery. Elrond is presented with an intriguing new venture. Nori breaks a deeply held community rule.

Husband fell asleep and I was bored and pissed I couldn’t reach the remote 😂 He woke up and we bailed at two-thirds through.

Felt perfunctory and generic. Too many storylines with not enough connection. Weirdly slow storytelling, going for atmosphere I’d guess. They did too much backstory at once yet not enough character development for me to care about anyone. I always roll my eyes at scenes starting with a child version of the character, especially with bullies.

They chose poorly on what lore to include, weighing down the story with worldbuilding we didn’t need. Almost all that shit should have been in backstory flashbacks worked in throughout the season. In storytelling you’re encouraged to start your story as late as you possibly can… and instead the writers were like, but this is Tolkien, he does All The Lore, and the fans will be mad if we don’t too!

Episode specific comments below the fold.

Art and Design Science Fiction

Science fiction visual worldbuilding with AI

Liked THE VESARION-3 AI PROJECT by Jesse Rockwell (


Being that the Neo-Texzalius civilization is at least a thousand years more advanced than the human race, there is much we can learn from their technological, and spacefaring achievements. Earth Scientists aim to forge a working relationship to acquire these advanced and extremely capable technologies, which will serve a huge benefit to humanity.

I like the consistent style throughout the project, the old book/journal look with ink illustrations somewhat a la Leonardo da Vinci. The organic art nouveau inspired drawings suit AI generation, as does the alien civilization theme, which can both probably be visually more forgiving of weirdness in rendering. The muted color palette with mostly blue and red/orange looks good. Reminds me a bit of Dinotopia in approach. A hint of Shaun Tan in the dreamlike world vibe? The architecture is at once grandiose, classic, and confusing without seeming threatening. Kinda like the statue world in Piranesi, wings and wings of ever so slightly different style and layout.

Art by Jesse Rockwell

Where to put focus in worldbuilding

Bookmarked Six Principles for Becoming a Better Worldbuilder (Mythcreants)

Worldbuilding is complicated, but a few universal principles can provide guidance.

“Audiences care about conflict and novelty”

Science Fiction Society

Flights of Foundry: Imagining Accessible Worlds in SFF

Watched Flights of Foundry from

So you want to imagine an accessible future. Or an inclusive secondary world. Or a disabled positive attentive history. What are some of the advantages, pitfalls, and things to consider when creating an accessible SFF world? How do the needs of different types of disabled characters affect that? Let’s talk about how to make rich, fascinating worlds that are accessible too.

Don’t put the accessible entrances out back / by the trash cans

SFF can sometimes use adaptive technology to avoid dealing with the societal aspects of disability

Alien species should represent individuals that have a spectrum of ability

Everything built in space is an adaptive tech because no one can live in space – what we build in space could be designed to be totally accessible

Ability is a spectrum – as people age they lose ability naturally

Disabled people are *amazing* at problem-solving

Presented by:

Aliza Greenblatt

Andi C. Buchanan

Ace Tilton Ratcliff

Katharine Duckett