From raves to rebukes, fiction and science writer, Nina Munteanu, reviews the latest fiction, non-fiction books and movies related to SF/Fantasy & Horror. This month she reviews Philip Pullman’s latest trilogy, “His Dark Materials.” Wrongly (I think) categorized by many as just a YA (young adult) fantasy, this SF-fantasy slipstream should appeal to readers of all ages. It is, after all, a multi-layered tale of universal scope. Pullman, himself, de-emphasizes the fantasy elements of his tale, calling it “stark realism” because these elements (such as daemons) are used to embody phycological truths about human personality. Say’s Pullman, “I am trying to write a book about what it means to be human.” The coming-of-age of an intrepid girl and boy serves as an elegant metaphor to explore the story of everyman’s journey toward enlightenment and whose every step comes with it a price. It brings to mind a quote by Victor Frankl: “What is to give light must endure burning.” When I review a work, I first evaluate it as a reader: does it hold my interest? Is it a good story? Then I review it as a scientist: does it make sense, does it make proper use of a logical scientific premise, particularly if it is SF or speculative fiction? I also look for whether it is imaginative and provides something new. In my work as a scientific consultant, I am constantly challenged to support my arguments with evidence, whether it be valid data, current theory or known scientific principal. But I also recognize that science also requires creative speculation (often unsupported) to widen its boundaries. Lastly, I evaluate the work as an editor and writer: paying attention to craft and how the story was constructed, often looking for why the story evoked my reader’s reaction in the first place. I look for characterization, plot, pace and theme and how these weave into the overall story arc. I look for vivid writing, use of metaphor and scope of the story. After all this, stories are very much a matter of “taste” and my evaluation of whether the story is a “good read”, “not worthwhile” or “brilliant” remains subjective and my opinion only. You may agree or disagree based on your own evaluation criteria and taste. I am interested in your opinion of these reviews and whether they are helpful and informative. I invite your comments or questions by writing me at the following e-mail address: Această adresă de email este protejată contra spambots. Trebuie să activați JavaScript pentru a o vedea..

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What is Out There: Reviews of Literature & Art - Știință, ficțiune, fantastic și benzi desenate - Imagikon: 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 reviews.