ENG 2420: Science Fiction

Professor Belli — Spring 2017 — City Tech

ENG 2420: Science Fiction

2017 Literary Arts Festival

The LAF(literary Arts Festival) is a festival celebrating literary writing. It host a writing competition every year. The festival opened up with a short video, featuring many of the novels that students are currently reading. Also, it included The LAF group tackling the mannequin challenge which I found hilariousness. Their were 2 students who were co-hosting the festival. Their humor was a bit off and dry. But I think the guy did a better job than the girl.

Students who submitted their works and won, read their short stories, poetry , and songs. Out of all the readings and performances, 2 stood out to me. Deja Simpson reading of “Tied my Hands”. I found it moving and captivating. Secondly, Lirazen Felipe performance of her song “The Greatest thing”. It was nice, pleasant, and catchy. This was the highlight of the show for me. In between readings, their was a dance performance by city tech steppers. I found this amusing. I did not know we had a step team.

In addition , Their was a special guest presentation. One of the students introduced Rowan Ricardo Philips, poet and author of Heaven,The Ground, and When Blackness Rhymes with Blackness. He read some of his work. In between reads he made a few jokes. Moreover, he gave us a taste of some of his current and new writings.

Finally, their were readings from faculty . The Staff called up all the winners up to the stage to award them a certificate. Afterwords, the show ended. The festival served food and drinks upstairs in the cafeteria for the staff, audience members and winners.The LAF was over all entertaining.

Literary Arts Experience

Attending the Literary Arts Festival, I found it to be interesting, if not a bit boring.  Because I came in late at 6:00 pm, the auditorium that the festival was held in was full.  Thankfully, the cafeteria had television that shows what’s going on in the festival and speakers so that I and several other people in the cafeteria could listen to what’s going on.  From what I observed, the festival wasn’t a large room with booths and a stage like what I expecting from a festival, but just simply a stage for several writers to read the winning stories, plays, and poetry.  In hindsight, that would make sense since the point of the Literary Arts Festival is to celebrate writing and a way to do that is to read out the best stories to an audience.  Once the speakers stopped working and several people including myself couldn’t hear anything, we went downstairs to be let into the auditorium to listen to the Festival, where we were able to gain seats to listen to a dance group performing during the Festival as well as listen to the written works.

The dance group was an entertaining group to both watch and listen to.  The main reason I wanted to listen to the dance group, as well as watch their dance, was because as I was watching it on the television in the cafeteria, they look rather silly without the sound moving about.  Since their moved so strange to me, I figured that the sound was a key element missing that without it, the dance made little sense.  After getting in the auditorium, I learned that this dance was a step dance with a lot of stomping and clapping, which made a lot more sense to me.  The dance was very entertaining, though I didn’t care to much about what the dancers were shouting as they danced.  After the performance, the Festival resumed with more written work readings.

Some of the written works I listen to I recognised due to previously reading them with my Creative Writing class.  One of them was called Washington Mews, which I believe is about a moment when a buy and a girl breaks up.  The part of the poem that clued me in on the idea was when the lady in the poem turned around and walked away like she would did on a bar stool, but “the joy gone out of it now”.  This part tells me that not only are they breaking up, but in the same area they either first met or meet a lot up in.  As the man calls out, the lady kept walking, indicating that whatever relationship they had is over.  As she left, she said something in a different language that means something on the lines of he wants her and sometimes, she wants him too.  I think that this meant that though that the lady is breaking up with the guy, she is hurt like how the guy is hurt, even though it’s over for both of them.

The Festival was entertaining, but I wasn’t able to fulling pay attention to many of the written works without spacing out and losing what’s going on in the written works.  However, in the end, I found the Festival to be nice.

A Journey Through Ye-Old Sci-Fi

When we were at the archives, I was shocked to find out what was considered a sci-fi “magazine” back in the day. I expected a magazine much like how they currently are now, and was given a book instead. At first sight, it was anything but a typical magazine, but it did come from an earlier time. I was genuinely confused because it was weird how that’s what passed as a magazine. Pages of straight writing, no images to go along with descriptions and concepts. The book was decently sized too, which makes sense considering that it had multiple articles and stories. I probably wouldn’t read such a thing, but that’s just me.

The archive itself is a different story. Hearing the backstory on how the sci-fi content was acquired was pretty interesting. The generosity one must have to donate their life’s work of collecting is something else. The sci-fi section takes up quite a bit of the archives too. Over 4000 books and “magazines,” a lot of it old too. Just taking in the sight was nice. Some of the books I saw caught my eye, like this one book that talked about the history of gaming (something like that), or another that was on the topic of aliens (yes it sounds generic).

As I looked through some of the many books, I noticed that a lot of them were in very poor condition, likely due to time. I feared that if I so much as poked them, they would just crumble away. They were so wrinkled and…. I guess brownish from old age. It looked kind of decayed in a sense. I also noticed that most of them were all from the same publisher but I don’t exactly remember who, however that isn’t the point. Even if I wasn’t advised not to touch it, I wouldn’t have touched them anyways.

The backstory of the actual archives and the library was interesting as well. I didn’t know that the library used to be below the school, and probably wouldn’t either if I wasn’t told it. It’s a shame that the archives isn’t in a better spot, though it isn’t the college’s fault. It isn’t the best place to properly preserve historical documents and weathered literature. The higher temperature won’t do them any good, and the people with nearby offices suffer too.

My overall experience was at the archives was satisfying to say the least. I learned some interesting facts and got to delve deeper into the history of science fiction. The archive isn’t too big a place, but for what it’s worth, it holds rich history from way before my time. I’m not too fond on most literature, but I can still appreciate as well as see the merit in it. It has to be my specific cup of tea. I patiently await the next time we go back. Maybe I’ll get to skim through some of the books that stood out and caught my eye. That’d be fun to do.

The Historical Archive

I’ve been enrolled in New York City College of Technology on and off for a few years and not until I took English 2575 (Technical Writing) that I had to do a research paper on the history and development of the college. During my research I didn’t discover that the college had an actual archive of collected items from when the college started back in 1870’s. A few weeks prior to visiting the CityTech library to see their Science Fiction section, it never dawns on me that the college actually had one, I just thought it was just another row of books like the rest of the books. I visited the archive this Thursday passed, and the first reaction when walked in was it smell like an old book, but that was before I even picked one up. Other than what was collected in the archive from the college history, the Science Fiction section was the newest collection added in the past year.

The first few minutes of class the librarian (I didn’t write his name down), explained how this amazing Science Fiction collection got to our archive. When we were able view the collection up close, I have seen a few books that I would of love to read just by reading the title of the book. Because time was so limited during our first time visiting the archive, I’ll make sure to write down a few titles that I plan to read. I thought it was very generous of this private collector to bless our college with all these amazing books. I wish that the archive or library itself had more funding to place all this great work in the proper environment to preserve the collection.

During the group work, I was able to look through many version Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine that were publish as old as 1960’s to 2011. The first thing I notice about the copy from 1960’s, the magazines were printed smaller than the traditional size magazines we see today. The publishing company has continued with the same design to this day, which also include advertising AD’s on the last few pages. I believe the publisher kept the magazine the same for either historical purposes or for the fan who still read these stories. We also had time to do some research about the magazines we were looking though, and I started looking into Golden Age of Sciences Fiction. During the 1938 to 1946 Golden Age, most of these stories like Nineteen Eighty Four, I Am Legend or I, Robot were written and now they are also movies, but I believe if that Science Fiction movement on door to amazing new stories for upcoming writers to continue the beautiful work of Science Fiction.

Good memories never dies

My visit to  a new world of a science fiction was interesting. Visiting the science fiction archives was an amazing experience where i feel i can spend countles of hours reading magazines and book without getting boring. I wish i could stay longer because there is something.special about that place that i can’t describe it like a magic place where you can feel a strong energy atmosphere.  There was a book that caught my attention during my visit in the archives. There is was this book call “Be my enemy” i wish i could read more than just the hard cover it looks interesting like the book calling my name maybe because i love so much about fiction, or sci-fi stories.

the golden age was a great period. when i thought of the golden age,i believe that gave a great impact on the sci-fi community. giving the best stories. after i did a little research about it . this was my The Golden Age of Science Fiction — regularly perceived as the period from the late 1930s through the 1950s was a time amid which the sci-fi increased wide open of numerous great sci-fi stories were distributed. Ever, the Golden Age takes after the “pulp” of the 30s, the pulp was recognize as a era were sci-fi stories were printed out on cheap material and have different designed like monsters spaces ship and more giving life to different stories.

A impressed collection of sci-fi books and magazines. every time i thought of the word archives i thought on old document that no one see untill they need it, but looking at this science fiction archives changed my mind. looking at this huge collection of magazines and books, i understand the meaning of having archives. it’s not just to have a bunch of documents or files in a place. it’s because those documents has value and meaning for the new generation that will take over. i admire the work and time that this person put into to save all those magazines and books.


The Expriences and Research I Gain in the Archive

The visit to the science fiction archive was a new experience for me. Although I have been in and out of the library I have never heard of an archive or visited one before. Now that I understand that an archive is where historical document are kept and preserve. It makes it more interesting for me when I visit the library, but an appointment is needed. The only draw back of the archive is that it’s badly positioned in the library. Throughout the visit we learned about the history of the archive and the content of the archive. We also did some research in the archive to help us understand more about the history of science fiction.

In the first half of the class we were presented with the historical background of the science fiction archive. The archive was donated from anonymous donor. What stood out to me was the person life works of collecting all of the science fiction work was just given away like that. If it was me who did that I would of sell it for some profit. Nonetheless it was the person hobby to collect these science fiction article, and he/she enjoyed it. It is really a great collection of work. If it wasn’t for the donor we wouldn’t have had an archive to research about science fiction. I have also learn that it was a great deal moving all those article of science fiction from one side of the country to another required.

We researched as a group about our science fiction magazine. The first thing I notice about the magazine was that they are different from the magazine of today. The research provided  information about what the book was made of, “pulps.” They where cheap wood paper that was used to print the magazines. It was also known as the “pulp era”(1896-1950s), since science fiction articles was very popular, to keep up the demand they were made with cheap materials (pulps). The pulp era correlate with the golden age of science fiction, the period was from 1938 to 1946. World War II (1939-1945) was a great affect on the golden age of science fiction. The golden age of science fiction left an impression in history. The result of my research was confirm when I went into the archive and found an enourmous amount of science fiction magazines, books, and many more.

The science fiction archive is enormous, one shelf was filled with the same author and there are many different author. The name of these author are really  intriguing, seeing that people from around the world with their different ideas of science fiction. Sadly we were limited by time and did not get to see the full extend of the archive. We hope to return to explore more of the archive.

The visit to the archive greatly improve my understanding of what science fiction as a genre is.  It made me more curious about the history of science fiction and the different types of science fiction out there.

Whats considered old will always be new to those who haven’t seen it yet.

The historical archive was what I expected and more, over 4,000 books of science fiction wow. When we first entered into the room with the seating I remember thinking to myself, where are all the books? Then I saw the door and was eager to go inside, I was excited to see the magazines, what the art work was like and the style of writing that was used. When I finally got my hands on some books I began to thoroughly inspect it. While Feeling the paper and its thickness and smelling the oldness of the paper, it made me think of the old dusty box of books that have been hidden in my basement for like 10 years. When I was younger I had my own little archive of Sci-Fi books. I was obsessed with the Goosebumps, and A Series of Unfortunate Events, and some other things that I can’t really remember. So seeing these books really brought me back to my childhood.

I was so surprised to see advertisement for cigarettes in numerous books. During the time period the books were published cigarettes were like the it thing and were seen as healthy so I can understand its placement. But in modern times you’re unlikely to flip the page of a best-selling novel and find adverts for cigarettes. In magazines, you’ll probably find an advert opposing the use of it. The concept of having page full ads sporadically place throughout a book is an out dated thing. But every book in the archive had ads that had nothing to do with books. Books seemed to replace the use of television a little bit more then compared to now, so the best way to advertise was in books I guess.

One thing I noticed way how interactive the books were. At the back of each was always something linking the readers to something else. Whether it be the follow up story or a website to further the discussion with the author, or something as simple as a subscription. The books seemed to be more than just books, they weren’t something you just pick up, read, and put down. They were like the links of a chain link fence, each part connected to another part, to another, to another, eventually making a web of stories that intertwine and feed off of each other. They consumed the role of modern day television shows that go on and on, starting with episodes that eventually lead to multiple seasons.

The fact that the anonymous donator managed to keep everything so organize and under such great condition is astonishing to me. My little archive is a hot mess and it only consists of maybe 100 to 150 books, and this guy had 4,000, kudos to him. The science fiction archive visit allowed me to physically hold pieces of history. I got the opportunity to hold literature that was decades older than me, some older than my mom, which is amazing. The visit even rekindled my obsession I had as a child, maybe in like 50 years I’ll donate some old goosebumps books I have lingering around.

Browsing through the Archives of Old, Old, Interesting, and Old Books

Visiting the library archive is refreshing compared to staying in class during a lesson.  Not only was the change of scenery was nice, but so was looking through the books and magazines of the science fiction archive.  It was interesting to know that these books are so old, that I wonder if the contents of the books was recorded online on the internet so that it would not be lost despite its physical source.  Also, more people will be able to have access and read the contents of these old books without having restricted access to the Archives in City Tech.  Though, I understand why access to the Archives is so limited, since the books are old and that either there were probably no reproduction copies or that the original copies are held as historical artifacts.  Those original books really grabbed my attention when I saw them.

The pulp Science Fiction books has some very interesting and eye-catching covers.  This is probably intentional as, despite being printed out like a book, they were magazines meant to grab people’s attention so that people will buy them.  The magazines I looked at, Analog Science, has some amazing space artwork that depicted what I can imagine people decades ago imagining the amazing future and the advancements of technology.  I started out to read the first thing written in the book to get an idea of what it’s about, and the introduction, extending to 2 pages before having me to skip to the end of the magazine to continue reading, was very engaging.  It put forth to me interesting ideas and concepts I did not think of like, for example, how unlikely it is to convince people through reason, unless force is used, compared to using “magic”.  People are normally set in their beliefs in a way that using their beliefs, whether that be priests, magic, voodoo, etc, can easily help solve a problem compared to trying to logic against them.  Paraphrasing the book, it’s like trying to convince an Amish family to use computers, despite how easy and convenient they are, unless force is used in a way such as separating Amish children from their parents and making them go to school with such technologies, stamping out their old understanding.  These books are a lot less depressing and peaked my interest, though that could also be attributed to its age as it was written during an optimistic point of time, unlike not unfortunately.

The books were graciously donated to the college by a collector of Science Fiction literature.  Feeling the paper and looking at the color, the books definitely show their age.  Skimming through some of them, I observed that some tell interesting stories that makes me think, while some are just as depressing as 1984.  This makes me wish I could go back to the Archive to look at more of these books, and possible read some of them a bit to expand my limited view of science fiction to better understand it, or at least find more books in this genre fitting to my tastes.

Reflective Blog#8: City Tech Science Fiction Archive

In class on 4/6/17, we went to the library and explored an archive that had various works of science fiction. That archive is known as the City Tech science archive. I thought that in class when we got to go to the library and have the class take place in the science fiction archives was interesting. I thought that it was interesting because it is the first time in my college life that I have seen some sort of archive inside a college or even rather a library actually. Also even though the area seem a little bit smaller, there was a lot of pieces of works and books of science fiction and it was some works that dates to years back as well.

When we started, we got to learn about how the archive was formed. It was a funny story because they expected shipments of the science fictions works on a certain date but it came earlier than expected. It was interesting how they got the works from a person who was a science fiction enthusiast from California which means that the books were in boxes and they were many of those. It took them many weeks to get all of that sorted out but eventually they finished it.

As we continued on, we were introduced to what was called “magazines”, which were little books of science fiction stories. They were old versions of stories that were written many years ago and they got that old book smell as well. The magazine I got was called “Analog Science Fact Fiction” and we got like three or four different versions of those types of books. I noticed that even though the titles were similar, they seem to contain many different science fiction stories within each magazines. I seen that the author by the name of George R.R Martin wrote one of the stories that was inside one of those articles. The story was called “The Plague Star” which was written in 1985. I found that it was interesting that this particular author wrote a story in one of these magazines because I know that this was the same person who wrote Game of Thrones.

When I got to explore the archives with my group, it was a good experience because I got to see some of the various works of science fiction that was contained in there. I observed that some of the books were in a certain kind of plastic that is usually used to help preserve the books. Also they are used because some of the books are in fragile conditions where they can be ruined more easily if they are used in a manner that would cause that. When I was exploring the archives I seen a book that had a picture of a monster or creature that might have been or looked like Nosferatsu and I remember that character from a classic movie I had seen once in highschool. Also there are a lot if other interesting works written by many great authors during the years.


Extra Credit Opportunity: Literary Arts Festival

Thursday, April 27th at 5:30pm is City Tech’s Literary Arts Festival City Tech’s Literary Roundtable featuring readings and performances by students and faculty and featured poet and essayist Rowan Ricardo Phillips. The event is on campus (Voorhees Theater, 186 Jay Street), free, & no tickets are required (seating is first come, first served). Visit the link above for full details.

This is a totally optional event, but I encourage you to attend if you can and to share what you’ve learned with the class. If you attend & blog in response by Su 4/30, you will get extra credit (yay!). This extra credit will replace a missing blog if you missed some blogs, or it will count as extra credit if already you did all of your blogs (bonus points). Please note that there are only two grades for this extra credit blog: 100 and 0. If you attend the event and blog your responses/reflections thoughtfully and comprehensively, you will receive 100% (otherwise,  you will receive no credit).

Don’t forget to take notes at the event, so you can include concrete details in your blog. Please categorize your blog as “Literary Arts Festival.”