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Posts tagged: science fiction

At The Gutter: Retrospective: Vive Le Gutter!


Ten years ago this week, Jim Munroe posted a manifesto on gutter culture and The Cultural Gutter’s been expanding on it ever since.

A few years back I started getting really interested in video games–playing them, making them, talking about them. And I noticed that there were marked similarities in people’s cultural perception of video games and science fiction.

I would talk with my friends about my experiences with video games in the same way that I’d talk about a movie or another piece of art: “In most games, you smash open a crate, you get either weapons or supplies that you can pick up, or it’ll be empty. But in Half-Life, even the empty crates have something–you get this randomized pile of computer parts motherboards or whatever, it’s a great touch.”

My appreciation for a game’s detailing, tone, and visceral engagement would usually get a laugh despite my sincerity. The disparity between applying high art analysis to low art, or even talking sincerely about something so frivolous, was a clear violation of mainstream cultural norms.

And I like violating those norms.

Becoming a Cipher to Oneself

Becoming a Cipher to Oneself

At Jim C. Hines’ blog, writer Micha Trota writes about what it means when she says, “I don’t see race.”“It means that because I learned to see no difference between ‘white’ and ‘color,’ I have white-washed my own sense of self. It means that I know more about what it is to be a white person than what it is to be Asian, and I am a stranger among both. It means that I built my identity on a warped…

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"Space Ladies from Outer Space"

“Space Ladies from Outer Space”

The Gutter’s own Carol invaded The Infernal Brains podcast to discuss space ladies with Todd from Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill! and Tars Tarkas from

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Karel Zeman Galleries

Karel Zeman Galleries

The Gutter’s Own Keith has posted galleries of charming and wondrous images from Czech animator Karel Zeman’s films: Cesta do Praveku / Journey to the Beginning of TimeVynalez Zkazy / The Fabulous World of Jules Verne; and  Baron Prasil / The Fabulous World of Baron Munchausen; Ukradená vzducholod / The Stolen Airship; and,  Na Komete / Off On a Comet.


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Retrospective: Vive Le Gutter!

Retrospective: Vive Le Gutter!

jim munroe thumbThe Cultural Gutter turned ten in May, 2013 and we didn’t make much of a fuss about it. But ten years ago this week, Jim Munroe posted the manifesto that’s guided The Cultural Gutter, even as each subsequent editor has joined the Gutter and added their take on our mission. We thought this would be a good time to celebrate our mission and republish it. (And congratulations to our friends at the…

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"It’s A Bunch Of Years After The War"Mallory Ortberg writes some entertaining faux-young adult dystopian fiction at The Toast: “Now,…View Post

"It’s A Bunch Of Years After The War"

Mallory Ortberg writes some entertaining faux-young adult dystopian fiction at The Toast: “Now,…

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At The Gutter: Cyberpunk for a Cyberpunk World


SF/F Editor Keith wonders whatever happened to cyberpunk:

Every now and again, like I said, those of us who grew up with cyberpunk wonder if there might be something new, something that isn’t just a “hackers versus a shady conspiracy” adventure novel. Usually, the books that are suggested to me as examples of “new cyberpunk” don’t really fit what I want from the genre. Plenty of them were good, but few of them grappled with the same big ideas that made me fall in love with Gibson’s “Sprawl” and “Bridge” trilogies, or Bruce Sterling’s Islands in the Net (still my favorite of all the books to emerge from the cyberpunk movement, and one of my favorite books of all time).

And then I found David Louis Edelman’s “Jump 225″ trilogy.



The evil space ladies!

That first picture though. LOOK HOW NON-VILLAINOUS WE ARE.

At The Gutter: Death To Life Day

SF/F Editor Keith rewatches The Star Wars Holiday Special and reports on his findings:

A lot of people my age have vague memories of a Star Wars holiday special back from some time in the 1970s, but beyond that their memories go blurry. Maybe they recall it had something or other to do with wookies, but specifics are difficult to drag up from the recesses of the mind — and not without good reason. In my circle of friends, it was referred to simply as A Very Wookie Christmas, and the search for a copy was nearly as furious as our search for a copy of Bruce Lee Versus Gay Power. Nowadays, for better or for worse, you can just pop onto Youtube, or any number of torrent sites, and download a copy of The Star Wars Holiday Special — or Bruce Lee Versus Gay Power. But in the early days human civilization (the 1990s), such searches were far more complex. The quest for Bruce Lee Versus Gay Power lasted years, and when it finally ended in success, the film proved very quickly that none of the effort had been worth it. The search for The Star Wars Holiday Special was similarly involved, and when it finally culminated in my possession of a VHS copy, I soon discovered I was better off with Bruce Lee Versus Gay Power.