Author Archives: Christopher Navarrete

The Star Blog

The Star by H.G Wells is a short science fiction story that details the events of a star approaching the earth. In it, the author is very meticulous in his writing; he perfectly captures the reactions of humans awaiting their doom. For example, in page 4, the author writes, “…everywhere the world was awake that night, and throughout Christendom a somber murmur hung in the keen air over the country side like the belling of bees in the heather, and this murmurous tumult grew to a clangour in the cities.” This quote conveys the world-wide panic that was created because of the star. Interestingly, he compares the cries of humans (“a somber murmur”) to that of bees, which probably means that there was so much noise that it was impossible to discern any of it. In addition, the author seems to imply that the crying among humans never stopped (similar to how a bee never stops buzzing). He further emphasizes the panic and noise by stating “this murmurous tumult grew to a clangour in the cities.” In simplest terms, this means that the panic grew larger when moved from the country side to the city. Something to note in this sentence is the author’s use of the word clangour, which is defined as loud banging. Loud banging probably refers to the destruction of vehicles, buildings and people. This shows that the country side and the city mourned their doom differently. The country side let out a cry while the city seemed to let itself be subjected to chaos.

Wells later gives individual or specific reactions to the imminent catastrophic event. For example, some laughed at the news and didn’t believe anything of substance will occur. This is shown in page 3, as the author writes, “[t]he students glanced at each other. Had they heard alright? Mad? Raised eyebrows and grinning lips there were.” Then in page 5, he writes, “there were plenty awake to laugh at the master mathematician – to take the danger as if it had passed.” On the other hand, other people thought nothing of it as, “nine human beings out of ten were still busy at their common occupations” (page 5). These sentences convey the different attitudes people have to something they don’t understand or want to understand. Most seem to think nothing will happen and continue on with their daily lives. In my opinion, I believe these reactions are realistic. Wells’ attention to detail / realism in his characters really caught my attention and made me want to hear what happens next. Overall, his story effectively builds its atmosphere by conveying the reactions every person on earth had. As a result, Wells builds a connection with his audience and makes the story more interesting.

Something else I found interesting was how Wells appears to make a connection to the bible in page 4, as he states, “… in all the seas about the civilsed lands, ships throbbing engines, and ships with bellying sails, crowded sails, crowded with men and living creatures, were standing out to ocean and the north.” The fact that everyone was trying to escape on ships with living creatures reminds me of Noah’s ark. Interestingly, the setting for Noah’s Ark and The Star are similar because they both occur in an imminent apocalyptic setting (the human race is in danger of being extinct in both). To connect back to my previous point about how Wells effectively describes the hysteria among the human race, he states in the same page that the warning of the oncoming star was, “translated into a hundred tongues.” Simply put, this means that practically everyone on earth understood what was going to happen as the warning was written in nearly all languages.

Reading Response #1: The Machine Stops

In the short science fiction story The Machine Stops by E.M Forster, the characters act very different in most situations when  compared to the people from our world. For example, in this dystopian period, people never touched one another. No one was allowed to even save someone from dying. This became a law of sorts after the Machine took over. I wonder how the inhabitants of this world showed affection to one another if they could not touch each other. How do people bear children? I am also curious to hear if this extends to everyone in the community or just civilians. For example, what about doctors and law enforcement? This law or custom is shown in page 9 when a woman was touched and saved by accident.

In addition, reading the relationship between a mother and son makes me wonder how they grew up together. The mother doesn’t seem to care that much about what happens to her son, or at least she doesn’t show her feelings very well. It appears as if she places her duty to the Machine above anyone else. Speaking of which, what made the son, Kuno, want to fight against the Machine? Why was he one of the few to break out of the Machine’s grasp and rebel against it?

Forster shows another difference in the way people act in page 8 of the story as he states, “people were almost exactly alike all over the world.” The story does not go into detail in how the inhabitants are all the same, but the author seems to refer to their form of speech. Because they have lived underground their entire lives, it does make sense for the inhabitants to speak and act the same. For example, living in such a confined structure would probably eliminate any dialects and different languages.  In addition to speech, they would most likely hold very similar beliefs, morals and fashion among others.

I believe that whoever is in charge of the citizens of this world make it a primary objective for everyone to be the same. This isn’t difficult to believe because If they made an effort to control the birth and death rate, why not the personalities of their citizens as well? Controlling their own people’s personalities would allow the one in charge to stay in power for a long time because they can easily eliminate any potential rebels that could be a threat to the Machine. Besides, living in a closed area makes it very easy to control others ( you can tell them where they can go, what they can do, etc.).

Controlling people’s personalities and beliefs reminds me of the video game series Fallout, where people live in underground vaults from birth to death. This series takes place in a similar world as it is also set in a dystopian future. In addition, most of the surface area is difficult to live in because of the nuclear blasts (which results in the use radiation suits). In Fallout, there are various vaults scattered throughout the world, and each vault has different living conditions set in place in order to experiment on the people living in them. For example, one vault may be filled with only aggressive people, one gender or be void of literature. Overall, Fallout and The Machine Stops are similar because they are both set in a world where people live underground and are controlled heavily in what they do and how they act.

Class Notes by Christopher


Take annotations when reading articles and movies. Blog is not due until Thursday. Print out the articles that we will be reading. 

Elements of Fiction:

Quiz Tuesday on the Elements of Fiction sheet. Quizzes can happen anytime and can have anything covered in class. 

Character: Something in a story that is performing an action. There are round (dynamic) and stock (static) characters. Round characters experience change while stock characters do not. Science fiction is filled with stock characters.

Setting: Where and when a story takes place. Setting is very important in science fiction. It can be more important than the characters.

Plot: What happened? This includes sequential and chronological order. Plot involves different conflicts, including person vs society, person vs person and person vs self. Conflict drives action and makes the story interesting.

  • Person vs self is when a person is torn about a personal dilemma (I want to eat pizza, but it’s bad for me). Person vs society is when a person rebels against the norm.

Other important terms include foreshadow (a hint of what will happen) and flashback (gives readers access to what happened to in the past).

What is Science Fiction Video

When citing a video, take note of when an event occurred (in 3:15, this happened).

Science Fiction (sci-fi) is a genre that contains things from the future that could happen. It is a world of possibilities. It often explores would could go wrong and explores the different outcomes. They take place in the real world or somewhere similar. Overall, science fiction makes things possible that would be impossible.

Hard science fiction: Based more on the scientific details of the genre. These detailed are explained in-depth.

Soft science fiction: based more on the characters and setting.


Text: Anything that can be interpreted or read. It’s something that carries meaning (includes books, games, movies etc.).

Progress: Relates to something being better. Words associated with Progress are advancement, evolution, technology, futuristic, and success.

Irrevocably: Something that is not able to be revoked. Can’t be taken back.

Reductive: An adjective. To reduce something in a productive way. Can be seen as a small minded way of thinking.

Subjunctive: Noun. Mode of possibilities (I wish I were outside). Thinks about the what ifs? In other words, it is relating to or denoting a mood of verbs expressing what is imagined or wished or possible. The term Subjunctivity was coined by Samuel Delany and is related to science fiction.

Denotation: Dictionary meaning of words.

Connotation: Associated meaning of words.

Extrapolation: Taking something known in the real world to a logical conclusion (if this keeps happening, this will occur). An example would be climate change. If we continue to pollute, the extreme weather will continue.

Speculation: To guess.


In Futurama, there are plenty examples of science fiction. This includes flying cars, aliens transport tubes, flying pets unique architecture, and designated jobs.

Fry saw the jump to the future as his 2nd chance in life. This is a common trope used in science fiction.

Christopher’s Introduction

Hi, my name is Christopher Navarrete. I am a senior in the Professional and Technical Writing (PTW) major with a specialization in Communication Design. PTW is a fairly new major in City Tech (4-5 years), so most students are unaware of its existence and/or purpose. I focus on the technical writing aspect of the major, which is essentially taking complex information and simplifying it for a specific audience. For example, technical writers can create an owner’s manual for a computer and design a brochure for a restaurant among others.

In addition to writing and design, I love to edit other people’s work in order to help improve their skills. While I’m not the best at grammar, I enjoy the teaching process when it’s about something I am passionate about. For example, in one design class, most students did not know how to use Adobe Illustrator and Open Lab. I tasked myself in individually teaching each student how to use both. Despite the process being tiring, I found it to be fulfilling. I gained some extra credit out of it too. An example of using my editing skills would be when I wrote and designed for the Honors Scholars newsletter and City Tech newspaper. In regards to the former, I worked closely with a professor. It required an extensive amount of revising and word reduction.

Most of my favorite classes are from my communication design specialization. This includes Type 1 and 2, raster and vector and graphic design principles. I loved how the professors from these classes allowed students to create original pieces of work with few guidelines. They encouraged creativity and originality. I learned so much new information from these classes;  I actively use the skills that I was taught in classes that require design. If I had to choose a favorite design style, it would have to be typography. I personally love to create magazine spreads, user interfaces and posters among others. Sometimes I create artwork for fun too. Below is a poster I created for King Lear in the Russian Constructivism design style.


In the future, I would like to be a part of a position that utilizes my writing and design skills. One job in particular that comes to mind is advertising. One of my favorite pastimes is viewing ads found throughout the city and critiquing them. I would take notes of the pros and cons of each piece and decide if it’s effective. If I find an ad to be great, I’ll take a photo of it and use it as inspiration for a future project.

I would say my strength as a writer is being able to simplify information in a way that can be understood by most audiences. Another strength would probably be writing objectively. I believe my strength as a thinker would be the ability to view an argument from multiple perspectives. I prefer to view every piece of evidence before making a decision. On the other hand, my weakness as a writer would be having a difficult time starting out. I tend to take a very long time before I get anything on paper. Lastly, my weakness as a thinker would be that I can overthink problems.  I may end up missing the point and go another way.

I actually haven’t read a books for fun in a very long time, so I can’t exactly say what my favorite literature or genre is. The only science fiction book that I can remember reading is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. At first, I found it to be a bit difficult to get into, but it became very interesting after a while. I’ve played tons of science fiction video games, though. My favorite science fiction video game series would defiantly have to be Mass Effect. I’m a fan of the characters and the game’s atmosphere. For a favorite science fiction movie, I would have to say the original Star Wars. Once again, the memorable characters and environments just sell me. My expectations for this class is to learn what makes the science fiction genre science fiction. I believe we’ll explore the various tropes and concepts used by authors of the genre.