Robots as female fetishes and voodoo dolls

Standard

Eva_Ex_Machina01In a Den of Geek article, filmmaker Alex Garland discussed his latest film, Ex Machina.  He had some interesting things to say about the story and the robotic main character, Ava, that caught my attention:

It’s partly an argument about the objectification of women in a particular way. In this sense, it’s a literal objectification.

Ava’s not actually a woman. She’s a machine that does not have a gender. So the question is, why is she presented as a girl in her early 20s? It’s because we fetishise girls in their early 20s. In a particular kind of way. Sometimes you read about that being shunted onto the media: advertising does it, film does it. It’s bullshit. It’s passing the buck. We all do it. Men do it and women do it. Right?

The reasons we do that are complicated, and I could make guesses as to why it is. But what seems to be beyond debate is that it does actually happen.

Women (in many countries, like the US) intentionally dress, use makeup and style their hair to fetishize themselves, even in socially- and politically-non-sexual situations (like office environments)—even as they demand to be seen as something more than fetish objects—and men, claiming to indeed see women as more than fetish objects, don’t actively discourage women from fetishizing themselves.  And science fiction goes the extra mile:  Objectifying women by robotizing them, as shown in Ex Machina, is as old as the first movies, and has become a rather tired trope of the genre that we cannot get away from, even today. Continue reading

Advertisements

Mercedes is making Sarcology come true

Standard

Daimler F015 concept self-driving carGerman automaker Daimler on Monday showed its vision of the driverless car at the International CES on January 5, 2015 in Las Vegas. The F015 prototype vehicle is designed to do all the driving, while four passengers can face in any direction, including towards each other, and do whatever they’d like with their time.

This concept is pretty much spot-on to the vision of the self-driving cars I described in my novel Sarcology.  So, if you’ve read the book (snort), and are curious about the kind of driving experience I envisioned, just use your mind to insert this very car into the passages, and you have it.

Daimler F015 concept car interior

One crucial difference: In Sarcology, the back seat was a sumptuous sofa, allowing for more comfortable and… energetic… activities.  (Cue Ruby Rhod clip)

You’re welcome.

Steven Lyle Jordan

Standard

Bernal SphereAuthor of multiple award-winning science fiction novels, featuring realistic science, mature themes and incredible adventure!

Available in ebook formats at Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.

On Facebook: stevenlylejordan

On Twitter: @Steven_L_Jordan (#BringTheFuture)

Laws for drones

Standard

Jeff DuchameCollege of the North Atlantic made news recently when journalism instructor Jeff Ducharme developed a drone journalism code of conduct that his students will have to follow when using the unmanned aerial vehicle for news gathering.

This is a significant step towards standardizing drone use in public and private spaces, a very contentious issue for our future. Continue reading

Self-driving cars: Where does the real resistance come from?

Standard

Google self-driving car prototypeGoogle’s recent announcement that they would be unveiling a self-driving vehicle prototype soon spawned a lot of the reactions you’d expect from such an announcement, mostly split between “cold, dead hands”-type comments to outrageous hazard-challenges that would give Mario Andretti pause.

I’d hate to chalk it all up to just plain technophobia; however, we have seen this kind of denial about new technologies before—for instance, when the Horseless Carriage was first introduced—and the song seems to be the same, note for note, but with the addition of synthesizer quaver and a bit of traffic sound sampling to remind us that it’s 2014.

But we’ve seen automated cars in movies like Minority Report.  I’ve written about them in my novels Sarcology and Chasing the Light.  And although they’re not depicted as death machines in popular media, they are still thought of that way by the public.  Why?

Continue reading

Invasive technologies define the future of Sarcology

Standard

sarcology cover 2014Invasive technologies, by definition, tend to have the most initial resistance to their introduction to society.  It can be hard to imagine a future world in which new and sometimes disturbing, often painfully-disruptive technologies come to be accepted, even common, parts of our lives.

Sarcology, recently updated and re-released, depicts a future world full of these invasive technologies, making it easy for the reader to question the likelihood and desirability of this future reality.

But given time, and often contrary to public perception, we have seen that even the most invasive of tech can overcome initial resistance and become accepted, even ubiquitous, in society. Continue reading

New Sarcology cover is out

Standard

sarcology cover 2014Sarcology has been re-released with its new 2014 cover. It reflects the original cover, redesigned to my new 2014 design standard.  The original cover was a Gold Star winner in
The Book Designer.com cover design competition, 2013.

Now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.