Renaissance literature enthusiast; often found in pursuit of the perfect cup of tea.
'Missing Mother' and Other Tropes: Examining a fantasy protagonist's backstory
This article seeks to pinpoint and discuss re-used/well-worn tropes in literature surrounding the issue of family and the background/ongoing story of a fantasy literary protagonist! What exactly is it about the tropes that fuels a protagonist’s backstory – that makes it interesting? Why are these tropes used time and again (i.e. Dead Parents, Wicked Stepmother, Death by Childbirth); and in your opinion, are they useful, or too well-worn? Are there any notable exceptions where family either doesn’t play a huge role (i.e. they’re not mentioned), or they do, and are treated much as part of the protagonist’s current story line as their past reason for doing things/giving them angst and trauma?
(It could be worth looking at TV Tropes and other websites for names of particular ‘tropes’ to discuss and explore).
"Going Viral": Internet Fame and Influence.
For the past few years, the phrase ‘going viral’ has been shown, to a increasingly greater extent, to shape what we might see and hear in the media – for better, or worse. Snapchat stories, vines, Youtube videos, memes, etc. gain attention and become news, earning their ‘stars’ perhaps longer than five minutes of fame, and instead spawning television appearances, or merchandise, for example.
How much is this a sign of the ongoing pace of what we consume as media on the internet, and how much of it can be controlled? Does this have any good, or detrimental effects (e.g. using examples, is there anything very good, or very bad, that has happened from a particular video/article/picture, going viral?)?
Star Trek: Discovery - Decent or Dud?
An analysis of the newest addition to the Star Trek franchise. Does the 2017 update to beloved 80/90s spin-offs like DS9 and Voyager really pack the same punch? Or is possible that older TV shows and their newer instalments are want to be affected by nostalgia and fans, as much as they are by new script and plot?
Space Opera: Sci-Fi or Soap Opera?
Initially coined as an insult, the term ‘Space Opera’ has now become synonymous with melodramatic space adventure: books written as colourful and dramatic pieces of literature which largely explore the human condition and entertain the question of where humanity might fit among other, fictional races in the stars. To what extent is this insinuation that Space Opera might not be as high-brow compared to other books in the wider Science Fiction genre, correct? Is Space Opera the so-called ‘Soap’ of the Science Fiction genre, or is it more than its title would suggest? Indeed, would you agree with the negative connotations that imply this subgenre is a ‘lesser’ form of sci-fi, outworn and tacky? Or is it merely a different, and more interesting, strand of Science Fiction that is less concerned with the intricacies of actual science? Probably worth discussing some of the more popular, and well known, Space Opera books and series and explaining why they might be so popular (as some examples, see: Douglas Adams’ ‘Hitchhikers Guide’, Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’, Orson Scott-Cards ‘Ender’s Game’, Kevin J. Anderson’s ‘Saga of the Seven Suns’).
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