|Explore Worlds of "What If?"
Creative people can be found in many fields. Here are a few who inspire me, entertain me, and generally make my imagination soar:
Terry Pratchett's Discworld
If you haven't yet discovered this brilliant fantasy series (30+ books and counting), the best introduction is Mr. Pratchett's own words: "...as the world tumbles lazily, it is revealed as the Discworld--flat, circular, and carried through space on the back of four elephants who stand on the back of the Great A'tuin, the only turtle ever to feature on the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram, a turtle ten thousand miles long, dusted with the frost of dead comets, meteor-pocked, albedo-eyed.... Much that is weird could happen on a world on the back of a turtle like that. It's happening already." (from the opening of Pyramids by Terry Pratchett, c. 1989) If you'd like to learn more, the best place to start is Terry Pratchett's website. In addition to the hardbound and paperback books, the Discworld universe has grown to include plays, TV films, Discworld conventions, maps, quiz books, toys, collectible figurines, and numerous other goodies.
John Scalzi writes highly entertaining science fiction, with compelling characters, intriguing scientific concepts, complex politics, and a LOT of humor! He's also a prolific and thought-provoking blogger. Explore his website Whatever for information about his books, his cats, and his challenging ideas of what to put in a burrito. Happy reading!
Lord of the Rings
Perhaps the most influential fantasy world of the twentieth century, truly a classic. Available in any bookstore, the trilogy and its prequel, The Hobbit, have been turned into radio dramas and recreated in the form of animated films on several occasions... but true admirers of the original story were disappointed in these renditions.
However, when film director Peter Jackson put his vision of Tolkien's universe on screen in live-action format, the results were astounding! He turned the trilogy of novels into a trilogy of marvelous movies. Check the official Lord of the Rings Web site to read all about the production, see stills, join a fan club, and more.
This versatile actor and director (1940 - 2019) performed on stage, in films, and in television for over forty years. Even if you missed his past performances on Broadway (including Coco in 1969 with Katherine Hepburn, 1989's City of Angels, and with Richard Dreyfuss in 2004 in Sly Fox), you've seen him in dozens of other roles, from the original "Dago Red" in Robert Altman's groundbreaking film, M*A*S*H, through guest appearances on dozens of TV series and voice work for cartoons and audio books, to his Emmy-winning role on Benson in the 1980s and his performances on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Boston Legal. Visit his Website to read more about his life and work.
The Number 47
The number 47 has crucial significance in Star Trek and in the everyday world. For the full story behind all of this silliness, read The Mystery of 47.
Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern
This series of books combines traditional elements of fantasy and science fiction (dragons, world-spanning quests, space exploration) with wonderfully realized, believable characters. For years, Ms. McCaffrey has protected her creation, refusing offers to translate the Pernese universe to film or television, for fear that scriptwriters and special effects people would not be able to keep her world--especially the dragons--true to her vision.
For a few years, it looked like a Dragonriders of Pern television series was in the works. Sample artwork and beautiful, computer-generated dragons were designed, but unfortunately the project never quite got off the ground. But, CGI technology is continually evolving (and getting more affordable!) so there's always hope that someone, someday, will put together a viable on-screen version of this fascinating universe.
For the lastest news about Anne's life and work, visit the Pern Home Web site.
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