Saturday, February 5, 2011

Funday Celebrating books and friends!

Here we are, February 5th, my birthday and my day to do the Saturday MGC post!

So I'm going to have some fun. Did a yoga workout at the gym. Then my daughter took me for a pedicure. (Never had one before. At one point it tickled so much I nearly fell off the chair!). And tonight my DH is taking me to dinner and a movie. Yay!

So I thought I'd share some fun stuff with you.


My friend AA Bell has a new book out, 'Diamond Eyes', so she commission my DH Daryl to do a book trailer and David 'Meshow' to write the music. Here's the link to the music. And here's the link to the actual book trailer. She's really pleased with the number of hits this has generated.
And my friend Marianne de Pierres has a new YA fantasy series out. Book one, Burn Bright has just been released into the wild. With a book trailer! My DH didn't do this one, but there is a similarity with Diamond Eyes because Marianne commissioned a song by the musician Yunu.

It's interesting to see the cross fertilisation of ideas between music and story, and visuals to create these book trailers.


And then this morning I came across This. It's delightful. No dialogue, strong visuals, good use of music and great characterisation. The child actor does a wonderful job of conveying emotion through body language.

What's interesting about this, is that there is no need for an explanation. It relies on the viewer knowing that the child is trying to use 'the force' on objects and animals. When Star Wars came out in 1978 anything to do with speculative fiction was way out in left field. Now it is so mainstream it doesn't need an explanation.

In fact, the stuff of fiction has become ordinary. We have phones that take pictures and videos and can send these images to our friends, who watch them on their own phones. Eat your heart out, George Jetson!

So what's left for SF writers to write about? Well, here is an analysis of some predictions for 2030 on the Singularity Hub. Did you know that the Babel Fish is almost here?

So there you have it. Some fun, some frivolous fun and some fun staring into a crystal ball!
What did you think of the predictions?

Breaking News. Hachette Australia has You Tube Channel to promote books!

25 comments:

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

I'll post a comment.

Just saw The King's Speech.

It was excellent. Colin Firth did a great job with King George the 6th.

Mike said...

Let's see... 20 years to Babelfish? Depends on what you mean -- some degree of translation can be done now, but there should be a theorem saying that human languages innately are not susceptible to automated translation (you can translate some of the words some of the time, but you'll miss the meanings here and there all of the time?). Anyway, longer life, reduced poverty, better agriculture, driverless cars, urban growth -- hum, I'm not sure. I sort of expect a drive back to smaller communities, as the pendulum swings. Automation, space, CGI, urbanization... robot lovers? And the discussion seemed to think that only guys could have robot lovers? Someone better tell the romance writers to quit writing Hank A'loy tales...

Probably the most interesting thing here is the assumption that we will continue the automation and urbanization trends without a break. No real catastrophic predictions, either -- no world epidemics, no melt-down terrorist wars, no climactic shifts forcing us to change our lifestyles?

Interesting, though. Thanks!

MataPam said...

Happy Birthday!

On future predictions:

I think telecommuting will allow people to spread out more--if they want. I expect urban regions to become more segregated; gated communities with private security become more so, and possibly physically separated from the nearest simliar community.

Third world extreme poverty? Sorry, too many areas are still headed downhill for me to believe there will be much real progress here--unless it's by way of a plague removing the poverty stricken populations.

Driverless vehicles, whether on the ground or in the air will be on separate, physically controlled environments, such as train tracks or elevated pnumatic tubes. They won't be allowed to mix with ordinary traffic and pedestrians.

CGI acting. Yep. I further predict that you'll be able to choose which virtual actor is in which role, possibly even putting yourself and friends into it. The boundary line between movie and interactive game will be filled with "win your preferred ending" type interactions.

Mike brings up catastropies, man made or other-wise. I'll go generic and say there's a good chance for a catastropy-drive major shift in populations world-wide. This could be expulsion of "undesireables," fleeing the cold north, or the rising seas. Or the radioactive ruins of a few cities. We certainly seem to have a political set-up and early warning signs from the environment for any or all of the above.

But most of all, I expect all the research into quantum strangeness to yeild strange and unpredictable results.

Kate Paulk said...

That VW ad is brilliant. It's one of the best ads I've ever seen.

On predictions. If - and this is a big one - Western society manages to avoid the self-immolation being pushed on it by certain self-proclaimed elites, there will be movement back to space, potentially commercially or donation-ware funded. Communism may - FINALLY - slink into a much delayed and well deserved grave.

3D printers will be the biggest selling electronics, and they'll be used to replace a lot of everyday equipment: if it can be cast in a malleable material, it will be printable. There'll be a boom industry in 3D printer "patterns" - customizable designs that can be used to make anything the printer is capable of making.

Hand-crafted items will become prestige goods. A lot of factories producing cheap dinner-ware, cutlery, furniture and tools will either go out of business or retool to produce 3D printers and designs.

There will be a continuing depression, probably ending the way the last one did, with a massive, world-wide war. This one will be rather less clear-cut and a lot dirtier, fought on at least one side by suicide attacks, nuclear weapons, and of course, the indoctrination that's already well in place.

If Western culture survives that, there'll be a long, rather painful recovery, but hopefully some important lessons will have been learned. If Western culture doesn't survive, well, we get to observe the descent into a new Dark Age up close and way too personal.

Personally, I hope we get the better leg of the Trousers of Time. I really don't want to be in the bad leg.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Mike,

You make some good points. These guys see 'more of the same' but bigger. LOL

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Matapam,

Ooh Quantum strangeness. Love that for a title and a concept.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Kate,

Can I have the fun future?

The thought of a long depression and a world war is just too terrifying.

I wish we could learn from our mistakes, but I don't see any evidence of the majority of people evolving into anything approaching reasonable and sensible.

Very big sigh.

Kate Paulk said...

Rowena,

I'd love the fun future. I'm just not seeing how we get there from here without a whole lot of not-fun in between.

Ann Rodela said...

Happy Birthday! Best wishes and happy writing! :D

Amanda Green said...

Rowena, happy birthday. Hope it's been a wonderful one.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Thanks for the birthday greetings, guys.

I've never been a girly-girl, so I found it hard to keep a straight face while they did my pedicure.

Back to real life now. Ulp!

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Kate,

When I was growing up, it was

The world is going to end in nuclear war.

It's always something. I think we human beings are hard wired to expect the worst.

I mean, if we didn't, we wouldn't have survived this long, would we?

Here's hoping that we can all share a glass of champagne in 10 years time, celebrate the survival of the publishing industry (in some form) and the publication of lots of our books!

Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

Dave Freer said...

Firstly, happy, happy birthday! I hope the pedi is completely better, and indeed feeling tickled pink (I didn't know pedis could be cured! Must tell Julius Malema)

OK - cheerful predictions.
1)The birth rate will continue to drop. That's cheerful for the world for a little while and will help with world poverty
2)Some form of non-fossil oil based portable energy will become commonplace and relatively cheap. It probably will be electrical/ biological and there are candidates already.
3)Designer biology will start to change the world in ways we cannot even start to imagine - from grown houses to an end to dentists.
4)It's likely we'll see some degree of social evolution, the pendulum swinging away from overcompensation for past 'wrongs'and consequent guilt farming that seems so fashionable - and destructive - today. Looking at various issues it would seem that 'perpetrators' tolerance of being told they're evil and must pay is around 3 generations. 'Victims' of course feel a right to compenstion is eternal, often perpetuating the cycle in the process.
5)it's possible that Islam will finally get its Martin Luther moment, if one compares it to evolution of other religions. That would be good for any religion, although a period similiar to the inquisition /rise of protestantism might not be.
6)Physical travel may well become slower (aircraft are not ecologically sustainable, lighter- than-air wings are) while telecommuting virtual communication will get faster and better
7)Extinct animals will be recrated.
8)The nature of food will change completely in the first world. This will be both good and bad. Your grandchildren will be unlikely to eat real eggs, milk products or meat from animals allowed to graze and live naturally. They will probably eat cultured mastodon steak however.
9)We will make a material strong enough for a space-elevator.
... I could go on. There are lots of darker views.

Mike said...

Hey, Dave? What about telepresence? I mean, it's already being used in some ways for medical treatment at a distance, teleconferencing, and such. Toss in the "actdroids" that mirror the facial expressions and such of their operators, and the possibility of connecting with a remote "avatar" for various purposes (tourism, conferencing, etc.) start to look good. Of course, I'm not sure how anyone would know whether they are connecting with an avatar in a real world or one in a virtual world... maybe that distinction will blur, too?

We'll finally be able to really say "Through my magic mirror, I see Bobby, and Billy, and..." and mean it! Heck, we can "reach out and touch someone" and they'll know it. Fun!

MataPam said...

Dave!

I didn't even think about the biological singularity.

But we'll never loose dentists. They'll just learn all the new techniques. Pull teeth and start the stem cell regrowth. And I thought I hated getting crowns!

I want to know if T-rex tastes like chicken. And speaking of growing teeth, fresh ivory of the mammoth, elephantine or walrus variety may become common and cheap.

And think of the new pets. Purple dogs. Pink kittens that never mature. Scary, I hope it doesn't happen, but fear it will.

And dodging back into the electronic realm, Training or personality overlays. Record your old horse's brain pattern, impose on a young horse and reinforce with use. Doing this to humans will be illegal. Opens a whole new field to criminal organizations.

And the Biopocalypse, Monsanto's creations spread too widely, and several critical food plants are lost due to the spread of deliberate sterility.

Dave Freer said...

Matapam - the dentist thing is a two/many stage process. Eventually human dentists will be extinct, but robodentists will do the job, and then toti-potent cells will take over from them.

In the good future, the Monsanto ruling will be over-ruled, and we will return to "If your pedigree dog gets out and fertilises my Bitza bitch, not only do you not get paid for the puppies, but you have to settle vet bills."

In the bad future... it won't, until Monsanto et al are so rich as to make Bill Gates look a pauper, and finally they get strung up, or leave earth in a hurry.

Dave Freer said...

Mike, the possibility of long range sex becomes another certainty.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

YAY, Dave.

I'll live in your future world!

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Gaah,

Just realised my comment about Dave's brave new future, has slotted in just under his comment about virtual sex.

Now I look really weird!

Dave Freer said...

(Roll on the floor laughing helplessly!) No Rowena. You won't look weird unless you choose to. You'll look (and feel, to the other person) exactly as want you to. Of course mods to make you look and feel exactly as they want you to (on their side) will be popular and probably illegal.

Mike said...

Or if those mods aren't illegal, they'll be expensive! Imagine meeting someone that you've interacted with for some time "online" (with full avatars, well-modded)... "I thought you had hair?" "I thought you were taller?" Well, you know, maybe they won't bother meeting in the meat?

Mike said...

re long-range sex -- Rule 34! That says it all...

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Mike and Dave, you guys are having far too much fun!

Mike said...

Didn't Cynic Louder sing that? Guys just want to have fun? Oh, guys just want to have fun... you're right. We should be more serious about Funday.