I’m not a big fan of short story collections or Star Wars novels. But I loved Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View. It’s a collection of 40 stories offering unique points of view surrounding the original Star Wars: A New Hope movie.
The stories offer glimpses of the main characters—Luke, Leia, Han Solo, Obi-Wan, Darth Vader, etc.—and even some dialogue straight from the movie, but mostly we’re following the stories not told in the movie:
- How the Imperial gunner who didn’t fire on the escape pod with no lifeforms used bureaucratic paperwork to cover his ass.
- An excerpt from the celebrity memoir of one of the Cantina band performers.
- The untold story of what really happened with the red R2 unit that Uncle Owen almost bought instead of R2-D2.
- The harrowing saga of how the trash compactor monster came to be on the Death Star and the larger role it had to play.
Continue reading I Love the Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View Short Story Collection
I read a lot, obviously, and sci-fi is one of my favorite genres. But I like a very specific kind of sci-fi—generally realistic space adventures—and I’m not a big fan of fantasy.
There are always a few standout hits—Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, A Wrinkle in Time—but in general I don’t like fantasy. I think part of the problem is no clear delineation of the stakes. When you use magic, suddenly anything is possible. Can that tiny guy beat the big guy? I don’t know. The drama is undermined because the rules of magic are unclear. With realistic space adventures at least they have to pretend to scientifically explain some new technology.
Sidebar: This is one of my frustrations with the Transformers movies (among many). There’s no sense of which robot is stronger. Optimus Prime is always able to pull out some new reserve or strength to fight back, even if he just had his arm chopped off (why didn’t you use that move to keep your arm?). It’s always used as a dramatic climax, but it actually undermines the tension. Continue reading Diversity in Fantasy Books