Drexciya (2012) Trailer
Drexciya (28 Min., Super 16mm, Germany / Burkina Faso 2012) is a short science fiction film by Simon Rittmeier, inspired by the Drexciyan myth.
Plot: Thomas works as a trafficker for European refugees that are seeking a better life in Africa. One day his ship sinks and he finds himself as the only survivor washed up on the African shore. He tries to reach the next megacity: Drexciya, an advanced high-tech world. Somewhere in the desert he is stopped by a huge light fence. At the end of his rope a group of young Africans stumble across him: Sisay, Kanchebe and Dylis. After a while they decide to take him along. Yet their mission also seems to be a strange one. They are looking for an almost forgotten place. Lost in the wide desert they come to know each other - speechless, strangers in their own land. More info.
Short film by German filmmaker inspired by Detroit techno legends Drexciya and the Drexciyan myth of an underwater subcontinent populated by the unborn children of pregnant African women thrown off slave ships that adapted to breathing underwater.
So many times have I watched sci-fi, especially when it’s supposed to be utopian, and ask, “So, that whole part where 80-90% of humanity was wiped out in targeted ethnic violence or a mass eugenics program that CLEARLY must have happened for this group to be so white? Can we talk about that?”
Or flip-side, the dystopias where the BIG CRIME is that white people are being treated poorly, but no one mentions what happened to the POC… (still wondering what happened to the Latino folks in Hunger Games movie, and shudders with horror at their absence…)
Am I the only one who thinks the reason that the society is represented as utopian is because they somehow got rid of all the people of colour? And the author never seems to realize this is what is coming out of their minds? This scrubbed whitewashed superiority etc wish?
I haven’t seen the dystopian ones though. Or at least, the distopian ones I have seen? There are white ppl being treated badly, dealing with poverty. And then there are MUTANTS or ALIENS trapped on earth or some such, and STILL no human people of colour. And it’s all the corrupt government megaconglormate’s fault; which is run by rich greedy white people.
And then I end up wondering if the poverty etc happened cause none of the poor white people want to be janitors or maids or gardeners or assembly line workers etc.
Occasionally? I have the horrible thought that all the PoC are actually the servant class robots. That there was a mass ethnic cyborgizing, cause it was easier to re-enslave electronically than create actual complex AI. And of course the cyborg/android servants just take it.
Hell even though the Matrix had PoC? I can’t get over the Animatrix explaining how the machines set up their own civilization in a desert and the humans declared war cause they just couldn’t stand having that civilization exist and be more advanced than them and create advanced products etc. And all those peeps in power declaring war and sending the world to hell? White.
It’s all damn telling.
Just like the enemies in fantasy always being brown; while white people walk around in kimonos and faux Egypt, and ride the plains like Mongolians and some NDN tribes.
Am I the only one who thinks the reason that the society is represented as utopian is because they somehow got rid of all the people of colour?
Or at least, the people of color who are present are a few tokens who never shake the system… The utopia is either our complete absence or our obedience, because POC having their own in any way or form is too dangerous.
In a lot of ways, where I see the all white cast + robots, I figure they made the robots and got rid of the POC, much in the same way they constantly shifted cheap labor based on who they could get to work the hardest and survive under the worst conditions.
Reminds me of the short story “Space Traders”
Because if it really came down to it, this shit would most definitely come true.
scariest fuckers on earth
How many then went to go see “AfterEarth” in the theaters because if you didn’t then you comments are useless. If you will not support a film with us not only in the future but with a leading role then why make/reblog posts like these?
Just for the records; cause this level of ignorance (the above post by - I believe it is ‘lessonsinthecorner’, needs speaking on.
When there are SO FEW media products out there that contain PoC in leading roles, far less leading roles in SFF, that the PoC media consuming public has to be treated like a monolith; is treated like a monolith in that their personal likes and dislikes; their personal appreciation for actor and director doesn’t settle into it because SOMEHOW revolution will come from purchasing power directly and only and not from change higher up the line; not from cultural wake up calls and realizations, not from a lack of ethnocentric focus in the creators, not from a pigeon holing of WHO gets to act and direct in those few few media products?
THERE IS STILL A FUCKING PROBLEM.
People swarmed to see the first and even the second Men in Black. Do you know what that told the film companies? Make more of the same. Exactly The Same! NOT - there’s a hunger for SCIFI / Urban SCiFI with PoC possibilities.
PEOPLE SWARMED (who were in the know to hear about) ATTACK THE BLOCK. That shit has FANS. DIE HARD FANS. Have YOU heard about a follow up? If we’ll ever get a continuing story of if there are more of the aliens, of Moses’ treatment by the police once he was out of the spotlight of his neighbourhood? If there were other attacks in other parts of the world?
Did you watch Silver Hawk? I can ask you. Did you watch The Touch?
And it’d mean nothing. Because the promotion of those films was minimal in the US. And individuals may not personally have liked the actors or the style. Whereas white audiences? They get such a mixture of things. They get Galaxy Quest AND Gattica AND Solaris and Dark City AND Aliens AND The Matrix AND Cloverfield and so many many more; different styles and contexts and approaches in SciFi, so many different actors and directors and editing styles.
When PoC are still being treated as a blank single block of monolithic viewing possibilities and ALL must go and watch a SINGLE film or they ‘aren’t doing anything’ about the RAMPANT MULTI-TIERED GENERATIONALLY INSTITUTIONAL RACISM in the movie making business?
That is a fucking problem.
Also for the fucking records: Talking about it, having conversations, bringing LANGUAGE into it - that powerful thing, language; sharing information, creating, forming and maintaining COMMUNITY? Bully shit for you you find it so fucking scary you want to downplay it. BUT IT IS DOING SOMETHING.
The communication of ideas, ideology, philosophy and life NEVER HAPPENS IN A FUCKING VACUUM. The communication of the revolution? IS ALWAYS AN ACTIVE PART OF THE REVOLUTION.
“Churchtanks” by Kris Kuksi
Tags: #i am choosing to see these as being the size of the churches #not the size of the tanks #because if you don’t want a story about huge armoured cathedrals going to war across the ruins of earth i don’t know what to tell you
Okay but if we really really really want a story about huge armoured cathedrals going to war across the ruins of the earth will you tell us more though.
READ MORTAL ENGINES BY PHILIP REEVE
It is a story about huge armoured tank cities going to war across the ruins of Earth.
Special China edition, a look at Fantasy vs Science Fiction in China, and all the things inbetween. Lots of great articles and discussions.
SPEAKING OF BEING FESTIVE DID YOU KNOW I WROTE A STORY ABOUT LUNAR NEW YEAR FOR CROSSED GENRES TWO YEARS AGO? NO? WELL NOW YOU KNOW.
It is set in my steampunk’d Nusantara ‘verse and follows the continued adventures of Johari, Samy and Thomas as they traverse cultural and linguistic barriers, and Yap Siew Fei being a such a businesswoman she forgot about a Very Important Holiday, and her nanny/maid/auntie/cook TAKING OVER THE SHIP.
By: Qiufan Chen
Chinese rarely utter the word “future.” “Five thousand years of history” and “a profound traditional culture” tend to roll off our tongues more easily. Instead of robots, interstellar perils and secret empires tucked away in the swirls of the Milky Way, Chinese television is dominated by imperial courts, ancient emperors and flying swordsmen. In recent years, we have seen a bit of progress. Our televisions now play fabricated acts of espionage during the War of Liberation (1945-1949)—a little closer to the present, but not quite “futuristic.”
Compared to pressing, current concerns like housing prices, education, food safety and other issues, the future is a little more remote for the average person. But every civilization needs its Platos—people who ponder the metaphysical and imagine what has yet to materialize. Premier Wen Jiabao said, “A nation is only hopeful when some of its people are capable of looking at the starry sky, and hopeless if all the people only have worldly concerns.”
In China, there are the nerd-freaks who enjoy thinking about the future. They exist on the periphery of society. They hold regular jobs, but they carry secret identities. They are real life Clark Kents and Bruce Waynes. They are China’s science fiction authors. I am one of them.
I am proud to be part of this group. Over the last century, Chinese sci-fi authors have opened wormholes into different literary dimensions: cunning satire, gleaming hope and dystopian rumblings.
I would like to take you on a voyage back in time and re-visit those imagined futures.
When you were sleeping, 2008, painting on Korean paper
“One day I happened to notice ants coming after leftover cookie crumbs, taking away their share and leaving. Just like ants, there must be some creatures that catch you off guard. A quiet moment is detected in a place where the boundary between dream and reality is unclear and where it’s visually unnoticed. Grown-ups try to deny such witness regarding it as a coincidence or a mistake. The ‘Ant Sprites’ series was created in order to capture the existence of miracle that is often missed into drawing and moreover to inculcate the innocence and purity of childhood that is lost as we grow up.” -From the Artist’s note
“I did not want my fairies to be communicated as the ordinary Tinker bell or elf; I thought an unseen existence may just have the same look as us. The reason for not dressing them in modern clothes in not only because of my mojor in oriental painting but also because of my talent in drawing Han-bok(Korean traditional costume). Moreover, as many foreigners evoke of China and Japan when thinking of the East, I proposed a figure with Han-bok to give people a distinct awareness about Korea. However, in order to break away from the past look that emerge from the Han-bok, I placed modern props to broaden the interpretation of my work.”
because we’ve established that my lovely culture has a wonderful history of producing heartbreak, and that sometimes it’s just nice to kick back a while and not cry at the end of movies
- love in space／全球热恋 - a romcom starring renee liu as rose huang, an astronaut stuck up in outer space with her ex-boyfriend michael (aaron kwok), kwai lun-mei as lily huang, who lives in australia and gets involved with a garbageman (eason chan), and angelababy as peony huang, a truly horrible actress who gets a job at a restaurant in preparation for her next role and meets an aspiring writer (jing boran)
trailer - movie [mando]
- hot summer days／全城热恋 - a dramedy/romcom set in shanghai, shenzhen, beijing, and a small country village about a group of people who are tangentially related and their romantic misadventures. think valentine’s day, or he’s just not that into you, except cuter. and sino.
trailer - movie [original dub - cantonese and mandarin, with chinese subtitles]
- first time／第一次 - well, this one isn’t so happy. or lighthearted. but it’s a pretty interesting film. a remake of the korean drama …ing, angelababy stars as song shiqiao, who has a neuromuscular disease and must stay away from physical exertion despite her dream of being a dancer. also stars mark chao as her high school classmate Gong Ning, with whom she strikes up a romance, and who may not be the person he says he is.
trailer - movie [mando, english sub]
- love／爱 - a 2012 taiwanese romcom film starring people like eddie peng, shu qi, zhao wei, mark chao, ethan juan, amber kuo and ivy chen. another hot summer days plot. shu qi is gorgeous as usual, and zhao wei’s son in the film (doudou) is literally the cutest kid i’ve ever seen.
trailer - movie [mando, super blurry english subs, idk i watched it on tudou over the summer when i was in china so]
- love in disguise／恋爱通告－wang leehom stars as fake!wang leehom (excuse me, du minghan) and liu yifei stars as a slightly less cardboard version of her usual role in a romcom that was written, directed, and which starred wang leehom (another reason for us sino kids to feel awful about ourselves. great). also it stars joan chen and that dude i will forever associate with chen jialuo because once you know it’s the same actor everything changes and my dismissiveness of chen jialuo is justified. follows the (mis)adventures of a famous superstar as he goes undercover to the shanghai central academy of music to find a girl he believes is his 知音.
trailer - movie [mando, english sub]
- love you you／夏日乐悠悠 - all these films are romcoms dear god. it’s telling. so telling. starring angelababy (again) and eddie peng (again), the film is about a young woman, xia mi, who goes undercover on a resort island to investigate the potential illegality of the business practices of you lele, its owner.
trailer - movie [mando, english sub]
- tai chi 0／大太极 - a steampunk wuxia set during the taiping rebellion and the forced industrialisation of china during the mid-to-late qing dynasty. starring a whole slew of people, including the taiji star from my province (yuan xiaochao) as the legendary founder of the yang style of taiji, angelababy as his long-suffering love interest (sort of), feng shaofeng as her brother (he doesn’t really make much of an appearance here though), and eddie peng as hotness personified, or a young westernised orphan with a lot of complexes and the dream of building a railroad through the chen family village. also the gorgeous mandy lieu, who i almost didn’t recognise. choreographed by sammo hung.
trailer 1 - trailer 2 - trailer 3 - movie [mando, english subs]
Hand these over (except 大太极, I saw that already)
Angry Black Woman gets heated discussions going in her comments about diversity in fiction markets.
Nick Mamatas weighs in as well.
As for myself, online I keep seeing the same repetition. Someone says SF/F isn’t diverse, people respond by chanting “Hopkinson, Butler, Delany, Barnes” like it’s a magical phrase that dispels the +10 diversity attack spell.
Delany doesn’t write SF anymore. Butler passed away.
Hopkinson and Barnes.
People aren’t even considerate enough to add “Due” to that list, Barnes’s wonderful and incredibly talented wife. Also a person of color.
So out of 1500-2000 or so writers who’ve sold at least 3 professional stories by SFWA’s standards (let’s say there are 500 or so not in SFWA who might be eligible) people only can realistically name 2 working current writers of color in the comments section off the top of their head.
12% of the US is African American. By simple math you can take our figure of 2,000 writers who’ve sold 3 or more pro level short stories and we should expect to have 150-200 SF writers of color active in that grouping.
Even accounting for statistical variations, that ratio is wildly uneven.
Is the cadre of writers in the field diverse?
Whatever conclusions or actions you wish to draw next, the mathematical fact remains that we don’t even have a healthy fraction of even 100 writers of color.
This could be a larger societal issue, an issue of fandom, the technical nature of SF/F, or that readers don’t see their faces in SF/F and don’t read it and therefore don’t write it, whatever your theory is (and I’m making no accusations or forwarding theories of my own here, that isn’t the point of this particular entry), it still doesn’t change the fundamental fact that is not a racially diverse field.
Seriously, do the math.
But please stop saying “Hopkinson, Butler, Delany, Barnes” as if it makes that problem go away. All it does is embarrass the field and further alienate potential writers and readers of color because by saying that as a defense, you’re demonstrating just how unbalanced the equation is, and how ignorant you are of it. They’re some of my favorite writers, and its troubling to see their names used as a tool to disprove the lack of diversity in this field when the issue is the math.
Seriously, and with all respect and friendliness, this being said in a friendly and neutral tone of voice: do the math and think about it.
Here’s a link to US Demographics.
To find currently published writers of color, keep up with the Carl Brandon society. The awards list mentions how hard it was to find works, and if you know the markets, you’ll see a lot of them were combed from *outside* our field.
By: Echo Zhao (赵蕾)
Few know their real identities. The most fan recognition they get is “You have the same name as a famous sci-fi author!” By day, they study engineering, write computer programs and edit international news. By night, they enter secret imaginary worlds. Writing in content solitude, they talk to the future. Year after year, their names grace the pages of the very best Chinese science fiction: Wang Jinkang, Liu Cixin and Han Song.
Wang Jinkang (王晋康): A Fortification Constructer in Awe of Nature
“In 2253, an astronaut returns to Earth. He has spent 202 years exploring an extraterrestrial civilization ten light years away. As the only survivor of the expedition, he is awarded the title ‘Hero of Humans.’ Yet, he discovers that it is not real human beings celebrating his return. Though their appearance remains the same, these humans’ brains are installed with advanced artificial intelligence software. They have all become robots…”
Once a chassis engineer for oil rigs, the now retired Wang Jinkang made this story up for his ten-year-old son in 1992. It was a day like any other. From the quiet city of Nanyang in Henan Province, where Wang works and lives, he could not have envisioned the wild success this children’s story would bring.
As always, when Wang finished telling the story he asked his son what he thought. Many a time, the boy had said, “Today’s story is bad.” And Wang accepted the honest critique. But that day, Wang’s son earnestly replied, “You told a good story today. Did you make it up yourself or read it somewhere?”
Encouraged by his son’s remarks, Wang sat down to write out the whole short story in just two days. He knew nothing about sci-fi magazines and only happened upon copies of Science Fiction World at a street vendor by chance. Without much thought, he mailed his first sci-fi story to the editors.
Nineteen years have passed and Wang still gets excited when he recalls the editors’ reply, “This story took our breath away.”
Wang is not good at concealing his emotions, especially when he feels pride. “I wrote two more sci-fi short stories in three days, as they requested. The stories had been sitting in my mind for a long time. They published both! So I started to write more.”
The next ten years of Chinese sci-fi literary history were thus branded with Wang’s name.
In total he published 50 short stories and 10 novels. The 1990s were an exciting time for sci-fi fans. Youngsters even chose Xi’an Jiaotong University to study engineering. They were emulating their sci-fi hero who studied there. Some even chose majors inspired by his novels, including traditional medicine and biology.
For them, Wang had opened a new world. In the worlds he created, an intricate scientific system and profound natural order shined with the infinite light of beauty. “I love science and nature,” he says with a pious expression. “I want to arouse people’s curiosity in these subjects and help them think rationally.”
Wang is disciplined when it comes to the precision of scientific theory in his writing. He doesn’t describe an imagined technology unless there is logic behind it. “If a technological theory can’t be proven, it should be disproven,” he says with confidence. The worlds he creates also show the infinite possibilities of the universe. As Wang puts it, “Sci-fi is not about predicting the future but about opening our minds. It enables us to think of ways to advance civilization.”
Last year’s hit movie “Inception” brought Wang’s fans back to his short story “Seven Layers of a Shell.” Written ten years ago, the story revolves around a hero who nearly finds himself trapped in layer upon layer of virtual reality.
Computer induced traps may be set in the future. Wang says, “Science has shown that human intelligence is just a result of complicated combinations of matter. Someday, computers will surpass human intelligence. Machines already exceed human brains in many ways. They process at lightning speed and store infinite amounts of information.” In his 1999 novel “Beekeeper,” Wang envisions an even sadder possibility: “My children, have you ever considered that the human brain, 1400 grams heavy, may also have its limitations; that human intelligence might someday plateau?”
Wang’s kind nature won’t allow him to stop with this sort of grim finality. He always creates solutions for his futures. In the novel “Humanoid,” he sets a rule for the cloning of humans: clones are produced without the miniscule ridges on the fingers tips that make fingerprints. This is how clones are differentiated from humans. In another example, his professor character in “The Song of Life” installs a self-destruction setting in the hearts of robots: should they develop a lust for life, they will explode.
“I am powerless if disaster strikes. I am just trying to build fortifications to protect humanity,” an old scientist says in Wang’s first story. This heroic morality pervades all of Wang’s works.
These days, caring for his grandson is Wang’s responsibility, as is the case for most Chinese people after retirement. When time allows, he likes to write for six hours a day. He is sorry he doesn’t have more time to write. His biggest wish, written in the prologue of “Humanoid,” is that even if his sci-fi solutions won’t come to be, perhaps they might make people “glance a little bit further into the future.”
In honor of All Hallow’s Read, this week’s science fiction/fantasy short story rec list has a very particular theme…
Fuck, these are some good stories with HORROR in.
Armless Maidens of the American West by Genevieve Valentine. A modern-day ghost story.
each thing i show you is a piece of my death by Gemma Files and Stephen J. Barringer. Haunted movie trope done so, so, so right. A fantastically executed, phenomenally creepy epistolary piece. tw: suicide
Ironheart by Alec Austin. War was hell even before the zombies. tw: gore
So Glad we had this Time Together by Cat Rambo. Introducing Unreality TV, starring the monsters of lore as your less-than-lovable leads.
Specimen 313 by Jeff Strand. Blame my childhood fondness for Little Shop of Horrors, but I like this story a lot. Mad scientist, flesh-eating creations, a bit of friendship, what’s not to love?
The House of Aunts by Zen Cho. A fun, flirty story starring a not-quite-vampire girl, a human boy, and a gaggle of disapproving undead aunts played out over a rich Malay landscape.
The Least of the Deathly Arts by Kat Howard. Death and sestinas.
The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss. Lady monsters rooming together in Victorian London. Brush up on your classic horror…
The Only Friend You Ever Need by M. Shaw. The malak — inhuman, violent, unpredictable — live in almost every town in America. So I guess it was only a matter of time before someone fell in love with one.
Click-Clack the Rattlebag by Neil Gaiman. Here’s something different. Neil Gaiman wrote and recorded a new horror story for All Hallow’s Read (read about it here). Download the audible file. It’s free! Totally free Neil Gaiman story! Each download before Halloween counts for more dollars to charity, so go, go, go!
(If you enjoyed these stories, I have rec lists for dystopias, YA, and LGBTQ characters. Check back next Monday for a new list!)
late but still good