Creating a New World

From the Doctor Who Season 4 Episode "Stolen Earth"

Science fiction has always been a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine.  The escape from our world, possibilities of a world beyond, and the implications thereof.  In high school I was fortunate enough to take a class that allowed me to look at science fiction from a sociological point of view.  We read The Sparrow by Maria Doria Russell and looked at how the humans in the story reacted to entering a new planet.  They found it necessary to name all the items they found in order to make sense of their existence, because if they did not it would be impossible to have a conversation about the things.  Also there was the element of imposing their knowledge of their own planet onto this new one.  

When I found this article by Beth Revis, author of the Across the Universe trilogy explaining her process in creating a new world for her third book, I was thoroughly intrigued.  While it relates more to the process of writing about a fictional "other world," it served as a reminder that the worlds we experience in science fiction were created by another human.  The world and characters can therefore be analyzed, but equally interesting is analysis of the author's choices in writing about it.  The plants and animals must somehow be inspired by creations in our own world.  This allows for the characters to impose experiences of their Earth upon their new planet.  This creates a unique set of issues:  there are familiar aspects but in unrecognizable forms.  From space, "continents" may be visible, but no matter how hard the characters try to make sense of these familiar formations, they remain completely alien.

Everywhere we look there can be something learned about the human race, no matter how fictional it may seem.  Human products contain the human experience.


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Meet The Author

I'm Madysen, born and raised in Nebraska but now living out my dreams in New York City. I moved here to go to Columbia, but living in New York has become so much more to me. This blog is a space where I can share my experiences of reconciling my midwestern upbringing with the life I live in the city. But even bigger than that, this blog serves as a space where I can try to understand where I fit into the larger social world, where I want to go in life, and how I want to go about pursuing all of these endeavors.

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