Category Archives: Reflections



The television series “Westworld” is amazing series. I am almost done with the first season. It portrays science fiction like no other show. It has almost every aspect of science fiction. It is set in the future and have a game with actual androids that can feel and understand everything like an actual human being.

When I saw the first episode I was blown away. This show caught my attention at first with its beginning and how it started but the ending of the episode really made me watch the second one and the ones after. Since it was the first episode it was confusing at first. Everything was shifting around until it all came together at the end of the episode. In the beginning we see Ted riding a train to this town. He looks like everyone, he looks normal, and exactly how a cowboy is supposed to look like. 

When got off the train you can see how the town really looks like. It looks like every other western style or as you would see it in any cowboy movies. There was a lot of going around as Ted was walking to the saloon. As he was drinking he saw a girl, it was Delores. He seems to know her. When they met they talked then started to make out and head to her house. When they arrive at her they see that some people are harassing her dad or rather he is dead. Ted goes for the rescue but some mysterious person comes and kills Ted and everyone except for Delores, he supposedly rapes her. And at the end you can see that everyone is alive. Ted is not a human. 

This is when I started liking the show. I was simply mind blown. To think that we were looking at a game this whole time. Also how the scenes changed from a futuristic place to an old western setting. This television series shows that how video games can advance in the future. From using just controllers and a console to play. We can invent androids to play a game that is like living in a different world where you are a cowboy and you can do anything to the androids.

A Dystopian Tale

The first episode of Handmaid Tale revolves around dystopia of women that are subjugated to men. Men are to rule over the lives of women and serve them however they are pleased. However, there were some flashbacks in the episode that shows the world before the fruition of the dystopia. In addition , the show reveals that the dystopia uses the bible to justify the reasons for their control.

From my intuition, women are “Handmaids” or female servants  and they are under the totalitarian command of men. So far , the show revealed one of  the commanders in the society named Waterford. Thus , suggesting that there are other male commanders. In addition, there is a hierarchical system in place , that the handmaids are lowest position because they are just mere servants. Then,  their are Marthas, who are supposedly second in command and are more experienced Handmaids. Lastly,  the male commanders  like Waterford  who overlook the handmaids. The main character in the show named Offred , who real name is June, was captured by the dystopian society when she was trying to escape with her husband Luke  and her daughter Hannah. She has been under there rule for months and through the episode we see how she tries to be sane.

Throughout the show,  I see flashbacks of Offered in her earlier days before her capture. I see that she  had a happy life with her family and her friend Moria (16:40 and 23:56) . It seems that she dearly misses her old  life and it shows that society before wasn’t fully controlled by a government but free. There was an scene in the show when Offered and her companion was talking about there escape to Canada but were captured. Also , Offered flashbacks are important because it shows that Offred’s friend Moria was gay. Thus , giving one of the reasons for the fruition of why the dystopia came into control. 

Furthermore, the dystopia seems that they are against Homosexuality , Abortion, and Christianity. In addition, the society  uses the Bible (which has Christian themes ) to justify their actions and rules. In one scene, Offered and her companion passes by three bodies that were hanged against a wall : a priest, a doctor, and a gay man . When Offered was captured , she went into a classroom learning the purpose of the society, that women must be subjugated to men and give birth to their children(17:39). The society uses God as a reason for this type of control over women. In another scene , which was graphic , Offered is raped by Commander Waterford (30:31). It was ceremonial rape to ensure that Offered would give birth to Waterford’s child.  Before Offered ceremony , Waterford recites biblical verses from Genesis  as ceremonial rites. The verses tells of Rachel giving her handmaid to her husband Abraham as a surrogate wife to bare children for her. This was the societies religious motive and justification to allow men to rape woman so that they can bring  there forth children in the world. 

To conclude, it seems so that this society is  religiously motivated to exterminate anyone that is against their views of the power dynamics of men and women. This  show reminds me of the book The Crucible  when the the europeans were escaping persecution because of their Christian faith , but went to the Americas to persecute those that are not of their faith . So, its seems a hypocritical , in addition when the handmaids beat a rapist to death , but it’s permissible when a commander rapes a women . 



The Originality, The Heavenly Sins, and Possible End of Progression .

What intrigued me the most about the first episode of WestWorld series is the structure of how the hosts and guest are played out in this western built reality. Throughout the show , we see the Host, known as androids, who interacts with the Guests, known as rich human patrons,  in created scenarios . Also the show,  incorporates the originality of the old western era and briefly talks about the end of progression.

In the show, there is alot originality of the old west. The show is focused on an android named Dolores. She relives her life everyday to only be tweaked by different encounters or interferences. As each time changes , her day would end violently. Her first day was fine as she met Teddy, till one of the guest killed him and then possibly killed and raped her in a barn(14:30). Another day , a gang goes into town starts a killing spree ,which they shot Teddy(50:00). Dolores stays with with Teddy’s dead body till the cooperation  bring her in her in for questioning. Aside from Dolores , there have been other things happen like other guests interacting with the hosts. For example , two Guests went in search of an bounty with couple of Hosts in the mountains (27:00), we see cowboys riding in the desert, people in bars drinking, playing, having sex in the brothels, Hosts  killing others Hosts(9:47 and 50:00) . All of these examples , has a nostalgic feeling that incorporates an original old western era. This would be something that you would see in a Clint Eastwood movie or Back To the Future Part III. 

From my intuition, this the first episode makes me think that the Guest are living out there heavenly sins. Near the end of the episode , Dolores father secretly tells Dolores that ” These violent delights have violent ends (1:03:59)”. Dolores repeats this back repeats  to an official for diagnostics. The Guests are living out there sinful pleasures in western reality with no bounds or consequences. They can kill  and have sex with the Hosts whenever or however they want , or they can have whatever kinds of interactions with the Host. Bernard , whos the head of programing , tells Dolores ” That you and everybody you know were built to gratify the desires  of the people who pay to visit your world (10:47) “. This means that the guest  can pay their way in a permissible world that gratifies there desires. It is like heaven for them , but with a mixture of deadly sins.  

And near the end of the episode, we see the boss and Bernard making small talk. As they talk in front of the creation of an android,  the boss says to Bernard ” But, of course, we’ve managed to slip evolutions leash now, have we? We can cure any disease, keep even the weakest of us alive, and you know, one fine day , perhaps we shall  resurrect the dead. Call forth Lazarus from his cave. Do you know what that means? That means that we’re done.This is as good as we’re going to get.(42:30)” In my opinion to this quote , the show is set in the far future where people have already solved most of the common issues like disease and war . They must have solved these issues with the advancement of technology. These people live in an age of progression as technology gets better , so does their lives as well. However, when the boss says “That means that we’re done.This is as good as we’re going to get “, this means that humanity will cease sometime in the future , having to wipe out all problems from the face of the earth , especially suggesting to have the power of immortality . It also says that humanity does not need to  progress in technology because its not essential no more.

To conclude , Westworld is a nostalgic sinful world , which couldn’t get any better for the patrons that gratify their souls to just feel content and sane enough. Its like what Bruce Nolan (with Clint Eastwood impression )  said to himself in Bruce Almighty ” Be careful for what you wish for punk” , hoping for what the Guests  has wished for in their western world , doesn’t give birth to the rise of the androids making them more self aware and wanting to take over the human race. 



Sci-Fi Archive Revisited

I had the chance once more to go and explore the shelves of the science fiction archive in the city tech library. I looked through a multitude of books look for a specific author: Harlan Ellison. I recently started reading a book of his called “I Have No Mouth And I Want To Scream” and his stories have intrigued me since then. Luckily, I managed to find another work by Harlan called “Harlan Ellison’s Hornbook” which included a number of his other works. I skimmed through the book and checked the table of contents and picked a short story that seemed interesting to me. I managed to actually get caught up in reading one story of his. The story seemed to be more of a rant than a story, but interesting nonetheless. About how television has become the preoccupation of everyone and how toxic it can be

The Archive Revisited

On October 18, 2018, class was held in the library again so that we were able view the City Tech Science Fiction Collection for a second time. Since we already knew the rules, we were given much more time than before to browse the shelves for anything that might peak our interest.

While I was skimming the titles of the books, I noticed a lot of the titles matched our initial thoughts on science fiction. In the beginning of the semester, when Professor Belli asked us all what we thought of when we heard the words “science fiction” we said things like “technology, aliens, cyborgs, and supernatural” Some of the books I noticed we’re things like “Aliens on Earth” or “Biomedical Technology”, and “Cyberpunk”.  Aside from those, there were also a lot of mentions things like “Vampires or Hogwarts” which was supernatural but more on the unrealistic side. Professor Belli told us not everything there was complete science fiction which made sense considering that there was a magazine in there called “The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction” which leaned heavily on the “Fantasy” genre.

It was difficult to settle on a single book because there were so many but one of the books I took out to look at was called “Cyborg Worlds: the military information society” Obviously, the word that lured me in was “Cyborgs” because RoboCop and Terminator movies made them look really good so I checked it out. The cover was also a lot more intriguing than the ones I saw on the magazine. It had the drawing of the side of a human skull outline on it but it was shooting a laser beam out of its eyes.  In addition, parts of its head looked like it was torn out showing things like, numbers, wires, and chips. The way they drew it actually made it look like it was coming out at the viewer which was pretty cool.

Inside the book were things like “The cyborg soldier: The US military and the post-modern warrior” or “Strategic offense: Star Wars as military hegemony”.  I think it was a scholarly book designed to persuade people of the possibilities of using robots and artificial intelligence to improve the military’s capabilities.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to read all of it because I found in near the end of class.

Overall, a lot of the things we considered today are mostly the same as back then, so I guess our views weren’t as different as I initially thought when I first entered the archive.  Our second visit to the archive was a lot more fun than the first one and I did develop some questions about the collection overall. A lot of the books in there are very old, and therefore require careful handling but will we ever get to visit the archive again?  Not necessarily as a class trip but like in a normal visit to the library. It’s behind two locked doors so students currently can’t access it freely. I also took a look at the inventory sheet of the science fiction collection and some of the magazine series are incomplete, like the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction only has two issues in 2010 but they’ve released more than that.  Will City Tech continue adding to the collection to continue the anonymous donors work? Since I’ll probably never get the chance to see the archive again, I’m really curious as to what the plans are for it.

Back To The Archive, A Day Spend Reading And Relaxing

The second trip back to the science-fiction archive on the fifth floor of the library was better than the first. We were given more time and freedom to do what we like, not to mention the experience of relaxing in an peaceful, silent, air conditioned room with an intriguing book in hand is just pure bliss.

I continued with my reading of the magazine Amazing Stories vol. 52, No. 3, May 1979 that I was reading before on the first trip. From this collection of short stories, two tales caught my interest: “Devolution” by Edmond Hamilton and “I, Robot” by Eando Binder.

Edmond Hamilton wrote for science fiction pulp magazines, and he was a pretty popular SF writer back in his days; in fact, he was awarded the first Jules Verne Prize by the votes of fans (Jules Verne Prize is the first SF prize before the existence of the Hugo Awards). It is interesting to note that Hamilton’s progress is similar to the Amazing Stories in which they both evolved from romantic, fantasy centered stories to more unsentimental and realistic stories (haffnerpress). “Devolution” plays with the idea of “what if humans are the devolution products of more advance lifeforms,” contradicting with Darwin’s survival of the fittest and evolution. When I was reading this, I imagine what it would be like if it were true, I found I was a little shock, angered, and sad. Deterioration gives me ideas of backward, destruction, chaos, and disappearance like the people of the short story “There Will Come Soft Rain.” I always look at evolution as an advancement for the better, the idea of deterioration and eventual disappearance is just sad.

Eando Binder’s stories often focus on superheros, and he is most well-known for his writing the scripts for Captain Marvel Adventures (wiki). However, the one that caught my eye is his story “I, Robot” which is the first of his Adam Link Robot short stories. These stories centers around a robot named Adam Link who is made in the likeness of human and gains self-awareness. Adam is not welcomed by the humans as they viewed him as a monster and a dangerous threat, and they are also nervous with the idea of a self-aware, intelligent robot among them. This ideas portrayed in this story makes me feel ironic, sad, and want to laugh. First of all, humans seem so feverent in creating artificial intelligence, playing god in trying to create another intellectual being, but at the same time, they are afraid of them and want to control this being. If an intellectual being is born, it can be considered another race, it has its own thoughts and feelings, and the act of controlling him/her/it will eventually lead to revolution and war. People want to play god, they want to dictate others, they want to be able to give, grant, or take power to or from others; however, when even if there is the slightest possibility that others might become just as or more powerful than them, they try to destroy or limit them. In this way, humans can be seen as puny, they just cannot seem to stand the idea that humans are not the top and center of the world.

Between these two stories, I think that “I, Robot” is my favorite, it really lets the reader think a lot. I understand that it is natural for intelligent beings to be wary of unknown, potential threats, but the quickness that humans pounce on it with intention of destruction or dictation just mouth-dropping. Makes me want to “Heh Heh.”

Image result for amazing stories  May 1979

Archive exploration

This past Thursday we were allowed to really go into the archive and explore at our leisure. Much like the first time we visited the archive upon entrance we were lead into a much too small room filled to the brim with books and stacks of boxes. visually speaking the room is nothing extraordinary. It is just like any other room, what differentiates the room from another in the library is whats  contained with in the shelf’s of the archive.Rows upon rows of the history that is science fiction. When I think about science fiction the first thing to come to mind isn’t magazines from 60s but rather movies and books. It strange to think of a world were science fiction was basically only limited to the pages of magazines and yet when we enter that room on the second floor of the library that is exactly what we are exposed to, the history genre that was just starting to blossom. 

Unlike our last encounter in the archive this one differed vastly because we were able to really see what the archive held. No longer were we limited to just the titles of these important science fiction magazines. We were able to really see what the archive held and choose what interested us specifically. One of the most striking things about all the magazines in particular was the cover art on each magazine that brought focus to a particular tale held in the confines of the pages within the magazine.

The particular magazine I had browsed through was one of Isaac Asimov’s science fiction magazine released in October of 1984. What drew me most to this particular issue was the way the cover and how the colors suggested more of a fantastical color scheme rather then that of one usually provided to science fiction. Along with this came the  striking difference of what the cover actually held, to faces mirroring each other done in sharp line and geometrical shapes.

It’s strange to see images such as these in our everyday texts. This cover in particular captured my attention but along the rows in the archive this cover is just one of many extraordinary works of art made to capture a readers interest’s and convey a deeper meaning to those who witness it.

The stories bond with in the magazine were also captivating in which they told stories of space travel along with the desires of the people with in them.When I first started going through the magazine what stood out most was the way it was sectioned. Filled with short stories that told of a desire for a new time, but still through it an annoyance persisted, ads. Pages devoted to advertasiments that tried to mirror the magazine. Told in ways of stories that would your attention and placed throughout the magazine in a way that reminded me of commercial breaks on television.

Persisting on I got to a story set in space in a futuristic world one can only dream about the story was “Moon Madness” and even though the story took place in a futuristic setting that is yet to be allowed to us still past tales persisted. The story was a boy who was lured to the moon but was being kidnapped for the purposes of money. To me even though the story took place years into the future what captivated me was the way the story told of old wants and desires, to be rich, to get revenge and to live forever. Although the setting evoloved the way people thought and acted in the story didn’t.

Back to The Archive


On Thursday October 18, 2018 we went to visit the archive once again. Unlike last time we visited the archive we were able to stay in the archive for the whole class. We were allowed to touch the books or magazines but we still had to follow rules and be careful with everything we touched. Also we had keep everything in order.

Now that everyone was allowed to stay in the archive for the whole class I could not wait go and see what I did not see last time. Also read what I could not last time. I think I was one of the first person to go inside and immediately started looking for interesting books and magazines, of course I was careful while touching and taking the books and magazines. Anyways, as I was looking through the books and magazines I noticed that there were familiar things. For example, there was a book about batman. I found that a little weird at first but then I realized batman lives in a world where things are more advanced than they are supposed to be, things like his gadgets and overall technology that people use in that world and age. I also saw Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings this I would have questioned but I realized other genres were added to science fiction as time went on. I found that really interesting, because fantasy is one of my favorite genre along with science fiction.

As I was looking through the books and magazines, I saw some really interesting titles. There were a lot of unique and different ideas when I say a lot I mean like a lot. I was really amazed how these authors came up with these ideas since they lived around time where technology was not advanced like how it is now. Think about it, how can these people think of such amazing stories, also when I am saying this I mean no disrespect to all those authors, because they are amazing. What I am trying to say is that things were just getting started around when science fiction stories were being published. Simply I was overwhelmed after I saw how many different ideas and stories there are. As I was looking I found a collection. It was a book containing all the best science fiction stories that was published in that year. There are a few of them and they contain a decent amount of stories. I picked up the 2016 version of those books.

When I was looking through the table of contents, two stories caught my eye, probably because they were peculiar titles. The titles were Wife Stealing Time and The Death of a Sugar Daddy. I did not get read both stories because I wanted to explore more but I did read a little bit of Wife Stealing Time, it turned out to be a story about one of Sinbad’s travels.

Overall I had fun in the archive, getting to see all the books and magazines was amazing. Hopefully we get to go again so I can discover new things in the archive.

Days of Futures Past : The Sequel

Once again my class was given the opportunity to go into the archive  on Thursday October 18th, 2018. I had felt like I was going back in time once again to relive my first experience. Here is my reflection of my second visit.

What I first did was touch and pull out random books  from the shelves. As I said before in my previous blog, the books were thin and hard to take out because there was some much books on one shelf, especially that we had to be careful of taking them out because some of them were so old.  I was trying to find an intriguing book to read or skim through . As I was looking at the shelves , I see series of books, a few encyclopedias of science fiction , pulp  magazines, few classic comics.I was surprised that the there were fantasy novels  mixed with science fiction. On of the novels I picked up and saw was the Lord of the Rings  written by J.R.R Tolkien, which is a fantasy novel. I was so excited because I never read the books , but I watched the all there  movies. and they were awesome . The book itself was the trilogy ( The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return Of The King ). However, the preface says that the book shouldn’t be mistaken for a trilogy , while it is in fact six books . I had held on to that book and still look around for any more interesting novels . As I kept pulling books out , I was curious about all these authors because I wanted to know where they get their ideas from, who inspired them , and how long did it take to write their novel or novels . Some books I looked through were just articles and reviews of other science fiction books and magazines. I think my greatest fasnation was the that some book or plups where in plastic covering. I wanted to pull on out , but I was prohibited to because it was a rare edition , supposedly its the last of its kind .  Going back to the fantasy genre , I wondered why was the fansty  intertwined with science fiction. What commonality or relationships did both genre shared. di one influence the other or where they a competing genre . As I said before , these authors was thinking way beyond their time,  giving birth to the possibility of  “what if this happened ” and could have educated the reader in the science atmosphere as well. 

Furthermore, I had a lot of curiosity. For one instance,  I had asked to myself  why was it essential to preserve all these books? what the purpose? If its for research , then what are they researching for? Especially that the anonymous donor gave all these books to my university. I had taken the Lord Of The Rings trilogy out of the library and started to read it. I was only able to read the genesis of the hobbits and the adjacent kingdoms that had affected their tribe . After that the class left the archive . 

On the whole, the experience primarily gave us more time to look through the archive and see which book was the most intriguing. However, I still have questions like is this every single science fiction book in the archive? And can any of the city tech students take one out and read for there time being.  


Back to the Archive

Having a second chance to explore City Tech’s Science Fiction Archive was such an amazing opportunity. Luckily, this time around the class had more time to process everything. Unlike, the first time where we only had like twenty minutes to look at one specific series. This time we got the freedom to view the different kinds of series the science archive held. While I was in the archive, I came across some of Isaac Asimov’s works throughout his years. It was interesting to find out that he created his own science fiction magazine.
The image above is the second issue of Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. I picked this up first because of my interest in Asimov and his previous works. “The Last Question” by Isaac Asimov was such a short text but it was so meaningful. I wanted a bit more of Asimov and I came across this magazine and I was hooked. I sat down and started to flip through the magazine. The pages felt a bit dusty. But I could tell there were all sorts of interesting stories and advertisements that were within this almost 200 paged magazine. 
Above is the table of contents. This magazine included all kinds of short stories and even stories by the man himself, Isaac Asimov. The first thing I read was the short story “About Nothing” by Isaac Asimov. It was extremely short. Like it was only a page. But it included all the essentials. It had characters, conflict, a setting, and a not so typical ending. I think that what is so great about Asimov. He can write about something so small but create a concept that is so impactful. Below is the short story:

Also, while flipping through this specific magazine, there were some pages that caught my attention. Below this is a crossword activity and an advertisement for Newport cigarettes. I guess a magazine would not be a magazine if it did not have advertisements.

When I was finished with this magazine, I shifted my attention to the If series. Ever since my first trip to the science fiction archive, I have been interested. The first If magazine that I looked at was from the year 1966. This time I looked at the one from 1974. Although that is only eight years apart, there are a few differences I noticed. The 1974 issue is twenty-five cents more. The structure of the cover is different. And there are more advertisements.

One thing about the If series that I like is their cover art. The artwork is just so remarkable to look at. The colors are dynamic. Artists back then were so driven to make their art stand out. Another thing that I like about the If series is the interaction it has with its fans. In this magazine series, fans have the ability to ask questions about previous stories they have read from previous issues.

This the link to the magazine itself:

If I had more time inside City Tech’s Science Fiction Archive, I would gladly want to run through the entire If series. I would probably spend several months reading through everything but it would have been worth it. There is one question I still have. How come there some magazines that are in worse condition than others not in the protective sleeve? I think that any magazine that is in a worse condition should be placed in a protective sleeve just so that nothing bad can happen.