Category Archives: Science Fiction

Top 10 Best Mothers in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Major geek alert here. If your don’t know a Dalek from a Druid, this list probably won’t say much to you.  However, if you are a fan of science fiction, fantasy, or comics, you’ll want to check out Wired Magazine’s Geek Dad column on the  Top 10 Mothers in Science Fiction and Fantasy .

“It used to be difficult to find genuinely good female characters in science fiction and fantasy. And even today, with plenty of excellent female characters to pick from, there still aren’t that many that are also mothers.”

There are awesome moms in every universe.  Most of the ones chosen to be on this list I totally agree with.  I hope you enjoy the list AND your Mother’s Day.

UPDATE:  In response to a comment and email, here is my own personal Best Mothers in Science Fiction and Fantasy .

  1.  In Robert A Heinlein’s 1982 classic sci-fi thriller Friday, genetically engineered super spy Friday Baldwin is definitely a supermom.  When a circumstances threaten, she can make the tough choices to protect the ones she loves.  This is one of my favorites from Heinlein.
  2. George R.R. Martin’s series Game of Thrones explores some of the depths a mother can be driven to when protecting her children.  Lady Catelyn Tully Stark puts it all out there.  The books are a great read but I haven’t yet watched the HBO adaptation.
  3. Sarah Connor from the Terminator movie series gives rise to the term “supermom”.
  4. I wholeheartedly agree that Molly Weasley of the Harry Potter books deserves a place on this list.  She just rolls with every punch the Dark Lord throws at her.  Her movie portrayal isn’t quite as passionate, but she still has a spot on my list.
  5. A reminder of a book I read years ago brings Shira Shipmen of He, She, and It to the list.  A mother whose son is taken by her ex-husband with the help of her corporate employers finds herself working with and falling in love with a cyborg.  With her drive and his deadly skills, anyone that stands between Shira and her child had better watch out.
  6. If you are a fellow survivor of reading Frank Herbert’s fantastic  Dune books then Lady Jessica Atreides has got to be on the list.  Not a perfect mom, but she is one with drive, courage, and her own will to allow her son to be what he needs to be; not what others plan.
  7. Smart, funny, and courageous, Holly Hunter’s portrayal of Helen Parr (a.k.a. Elastigirl) in the 2004 Disney/Pixar animated movie The Incredibles deserves a spot on the Top Ten list.  Taking risks to protect her family is just another of her supermom powers.
  8. The Wired Magazine list put the Alien Queen from Aliens up as one of their Sci-fi and fantasy supermoms.  I’d like to counter that with Ellen Ripley herself.  Though she has lost her own daughter, Ripley takes the lost and orphaned Newt into her heart and there is nothing (human or alien) that will get between them. (note: one of my favorite action flicks)
  9. Not truly a Sci-fi/fantasy genre film, Kill Bill certainly has elements of the fantastical about it.  Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman) treats vengeance for her unborn child with deadly seriousness.
  10. Finally, here is a combination Sci-fi/fantasy entry.  Juniper MacKenzie in S.M. Stirling’s The Change series qualifies for the supermom title.  In a post-apocalyptic Pacific Northwest, this folksinger and mother of a deaf daughter gathers and then leads a band of survivors to build their own Scottish-style clan to fend off the barbarous world around them.  Richly detailed and epic in scope, Juniper’s character balances the burdens of leadership with the responsibilities of motherhood with grace and a fierce courage.

Let me know in the comments who YOU think should be on the list.

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Orwell, vegetarians, and the reality based world

George Orwell was one of the most influential futurist authors I was exposed to early in my reading career.  Despite his socialist leanings, a lot of his observations of human nature and societies were and still are spot on.  Read a few of my favorites and see what they tell you about the Occupy wackos.

On vegetarians and progressives…

“One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist….The food-crank is by definition a person willing to cut himself off from human society in hopes of adding five years on to the life of his carcase; that is, a person out of touch with common humanity.”

Our troops aren’t villains…

“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf”

History matters…

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

Intellectual stupidity…

“There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person
could believe in them.”

Insanity…

“What can you do against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy?”

His personal politics aside, some time spent reading some of his books or visiting his archive site would be time well spent.

Lost and Found – August 19th Edition

What to remember about August 19th…

    • 1812  USS Constitution earns the nickname “Old Ironsides” as British cannon-shot bounce off her hull
    • 1921  Screenwriter and producer Gene Roddenberry is born in El Paso, Texas; creator of Star Trek
    • 1934  Adolf Hitler becomes President of Germany
    • 1942  Allied forces raid seaport of Dieppe, France gaining intel that will aid the D-Day landings in Normandy
    • 1946  42nd President of the United States William Jefferson Blythe III (Bill Clinton) is born in Hope, Arkansas
    • 1960  Captured American U-2 pilot Frances Gary Powers is convicted of espionage by the Soviets
    • 1964  The Beatles begin their first concert tour in America at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, California
    • 1991  Crown Heights Riot: Mob of African-Americans murder a Jewish student in New York City after Gavin Cato dies in a car accident
    • 2004  Google, Inc. becomes a publicly traded company

USS Constitution - Old Ironsides

Nightfall In America

Nightfall In America – Posted to Myspace November 6, 2008 at 8:37am

“Nightfall” is the name of a short story written in 1943 by Isaac Asimov. It is an undisputed classic piece of speculative science fiction. In it you find a world perched on the brink of madness. The sun only sets on their world every two thousand years and no one knows what will happen when night falls. As the darkness approaches everyone – from religious fanatics to scientific ultra-realists – finds themselves consumed by their fear of the unknown. Disaster looms.

In this story (and now novel of the same name written with Robert Silverberg in 1990) I find some helpful parallels to the situation America finds herself in today. We know that the near future will be fraught with tribulations economic, political, and social. The nation’s incoming leadership is untested and has given little reassurance as to how they will handle things other than with platitudes. No one knows how things will turn out and the fear of this unknown has caused great stress for a great many. Unchecked fear causes people to behave irrationally and worsen their situations unnecessarily through panic, anger, and paranoia.

This world has its share of loons on any given day. Giving in to your fear of the unknown is a slow form of mental poisoning that can drive you mad. Find strength in the things that you hold dear and close. Realize that those things you cannot control are less important than the things you can. Have faith. Be strong. Be prepared. Be ready. People who love you will need you. They will need your strength. They will need your knowledge. They will need your calm.

As night falls on America, we look for the guiding light of the first stars in the sky. Be that guiding light for those around you. Steer clear of those who wander in the wilderness of the unknown and wallow in fear and despair. You should be one who sets their foot on the path to the future each day with the faith and courage to see that when the dawn comes to America she will still stand as strong and as full of promise as ever.