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Short Story

James and the Giant Peach

James and the Giant Peach – Roald Dahl

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The Variable Man

The Variable Man – Philip K Dick

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Cole has been transferred to the future, he has lots of good practical skills – but in a completely ‘alien’ world.

Location: Appocolytic version of Central Park New York

…the SRB machines were blank. And on the SRM machines readings the whole war depended.

Cole drives a horse and cart through this futuristic New York.

Threats from above.

His fingers flew, workign and twisting, tracing down wires and relays, exploring and examining.

He know’s nothing. It’s not in his head, a form of learning. He works by intuition – his power is in his hands not his head.

You can tell the variable man is the solution to the problem – but the higher ups haven’t seen this yet. And want to destroy him instead…

Juxtaposition of fighting for survival in forest over being hunted by high tec.

Reinhart and his kind have made such things as SRB machines into gods.

Secret labs a mile under the Urual Mountain range.

Missiles used to break into the underground lab

Great gaping pits yawed among the mountains, vast sections missing like broken teeth.

Conclusion: War happens, but the bomb doesn’t explode. The original problem was fixed though – faster than light travel is now possible. Corrupt government is over thrown and new is re-instated. Next problem to fix, a completely democrat world with no council.

Peter Pan

Peter Pan – JM Barrie

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The reason is that he escaped from being a human when he was seven days’ old.

7 day old baby.

If you think he was the only baby who ever wanted to escape, it shows how completely you have forgotten your own young days.

All children could have such recollections if they would press their hands hard to their temples, for, having been birds before they were human, they are naturally a little wild during the first few weeks, and very itchy at the shoulders, where their wings used to be.

Birds of Kensington Gardens

It is wonderful that he could fly without wings, but the place itched tremendously, and, perhaps we could all fly if we were as dead-confident-sure of our capacity to do it as was bold Peter Pan that evening.

Crowds of fairies were running this way and that, asking each other stoutly, who was afraid,

“Then I sha’n’t be exactly a human?” Peter asked.

“No.”

“Nor exactly a bird?”

“No.”

“What shall I be?”

A thrush’s nest

At least he thinks so, and it is one of the pathetic things about him that he often plays quite wrongly.

Perambulator

Fairy House

This is because it is not there when you lie down, but it is there when you wake up and step outside.


…for they are the colour of night, and I never heard of anyone yet who could see night in the daytime.

Fairy Weddings

You can’t conceive the effect of it. Brownie held out her arms to the Duke and he flung himself into them, the Queen leapt into the arms of the Lord Chamberlain, and the ladies of the court leapt into the arms of her gentlemen, for it is etiquette to follow her example in everything. Thus in a single moment about fifty marriages took place, for if you leap into each other’s arms it is a fairy wedding. Of course a clergyman has to be present.

Fairy Disguises

The reason they were cheated was that she pretended to be something else. This is one of their best tricks. They usually pretend to be flowers,

Peter wants to go back to his mother, and the fairies grant him his wish… but by the time he get’s back he has been replaced and it’s too late.

Ah, Peter, we who have made the great mistake, how differently we should all act at the second chance. But Solomon was right; there is no second chance, not for most of us. When we reach the window it is Lock-out Time. The iron bars are up for life.

Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka

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Gregor wakes up as a cockroach… yet is more worried about getting to work on time and out of bed. He has completly missed the obvious, to the extent he fears the doctor would come in and say he is fit for work.

Clarity and calm are better than councils of despair

He thought how simple everything would be if he had some help…could he really contemplated calling for help?Even in his extremity, he couldn’t repress a smile at the thought.

The Chief Clerk arrives to pull Gregor to work, even if he is a few hours late… or 10mins late? Why did they send round the chief clerk..? Instills a sense of modern fear of being late and pulled up by a higher colleague.

  anxiety

Everyone is waiting outside to work out what has happened to Gregor.

Upon opening the door, the family sees a huge cockroach – but Gregor hasn’t realised their shock. Instead, he is to preoccupied with keeping his job and persuading his manager to keep him.

For sure, none of  them wanted Gregor to starve, but maybe they didn’t want to confront in so much detail the idea of him eating anything

Gregory was the sole family bead winner – and kept the family more than afloat + cook and servants! Yet he still didn’t feel like it was enough or appreciated by his family. But is panicked by the fact that he is now no longer working and can’t support his family.

Gregor thinks nothing for himself only for that of others.

..so that, if Gregor returns to us, he will find everything unaltered, and will thereby be able to forget the intervening period almost as if it hadn’t happened

Father tries to kill Gregor.

Family goes into disrepair as everyone takes on work and is trying to support the house. Can’t move because of

despair

Gregor is now not called by his name anymore – only monster.

Gregor has nothing left to live for and dies.

The family is happy and start a new life as they can finally move on.

Animal Farm

Animal Farm – George Orwell

This single farm of ours would support a dozen horses, twenty cows, hundreds of sheep–and all of them living in a comfort and a dignity that are now almost beyond our imagining. Why then do we continue in this miserable condition?

Because nearly the whole of the produce of our labour is stolen from us by human beings.

Only get rid of Man, and the produce of our labour would be our own. Almost overnight we could become rich and free.

Major’s speech had given to the more intelligent animals on the farm a completely new outlook on life.

Others asked such questions as “Why should we care what happens after we are dead?”
“Comrade,” said Snowball, “those ribbons that you are so devoted to are the badge of slavery. Can you not understand that liberty is worth more than ribbons?”

He claimed to know of the existence of a mysterious country called Sugarcandy Mountain, to which all animals went when they died.

At last they could stand it no longer. One of the cows broke in the door of the store-shed with her horn and all the animals began to help themselves from the bins…The next moment he and his four men were in the store-shed with whips in their hands, lashing out in all directions.

The animals rushed to the top of it and gazed round them in the clear morning light. Yes, it was theirs–everything that they could see was theirs!

 A unanimous resolution was passed on the spot that the farmhouse should be preserved as a museum.

Seven Commandments which were to form an unalterable law, in which every animal should live.

Every mouthful of food was an acute positive pleasure, now that it was truly their own food, produced by themselves and for themselves, not doled out to them by a grudging master.

Hard work is it’s own reward.

Some animals didn’t work hard, some worked twice as hard…

The hoof and horn flag was flown each sunday:

The flag was green, Snowball explained, to represent the green fields of England, while the hoof and horn signified the future Republic of the Animals which would arise when the human race had been finally overthrown.

Pigs start taking more power than that of the other animals – a hierarchy system has started again…

And when the human beings listened to it, they secretly trembled, hearing in it a prophecy of their future doom.

Snowball and Napoleon were polar opposite in decision making,

How to best sustain a farm – which part do you improve at the cost of others.

A coup happens with military force, and the same hierarchy is established over democracy.

Every Sunday morning at ten o’clock the animals assembled in the big barn to receive their orders for the week.

Slowly the manifesto’s are being changed – going back on principles.

And since it was certainly true that nothing of the kind existed in writing, the animals were satisfied that they had been mistaken.

It was about this time that the pigs suddenly moved into the farmhouse and took up their residence there.

Referred to as leaders rather than comrades.

Enemy has been created as a scape-goat for the leaders problems – Napoleon doesn’t want to loose power at any costs.

In addition, Napoleon ordered the almost empty bins in the store-shed to be filled nearly to the brim with sand, which was then covered up with what remained of the grain and meal.

Trying to make the situation look better than it is for people on the outside.

Kijŏngdong, (“Peace Village”) is a village in North Korea. It is situated in the North’s half of the Korean Demilitarized Zone it has been widely referred to as ‘Propaganda Village’ by those outside North Korea, especially in Western and South Korean media

Whenever anything went wrong it became usual to attribute it to Snowball.

Try to alter the past, arguing that the past is not what it seems. In order to influence the future.

And so the tale of confessions and executions went on, until there was a pile of corpses lying before Napoleon’s feet and the air was heavy with the smell of blood, which had been unknown there since the expulsion of Jones.

Beast of England Song abolished.

“Thanks to the leadership of Comrade Napoleon, how excellent this water tastes!”

The windmill is seen thought out as the advancement of technology, and how it can magically make everything better.

. A too rigid equality in rations, Squealer explained, would have been contrary to the principles of Animalism.

Life for the animals becomes more about show and pomp than of real life. It’s becoming more a of a stage set.

…they were able to forget that their bellies were empty, at least part of the time.

“Four legs good, two legs BETTER!

The whole of the 7 commandments have been flipped on it’s head / altered in some way!

The story does a full loop

“Animal Farm” had been abolished. Henceforward the farm was to be known as “The Manor Farm”–which, he believed, was its correct and original name.

A Sound of Thunder

A Sound of Thunder – Ray Bradbury

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eyelids blink over a stare


$10,000 to shoot a dinosaur in the past.

A real life time machine – only used for safari.

Time was a film run backwards.


It’s purpose is to keep you from touching the world of the past in anyway…We don’t want the future to change.
..so that we meet the monster only 2minutes before he would have died anyway.
Time doesn’t permit that sort of a mess-a man meeting himself. When such occasions threaten, Time steps aside. Like an aeroplane hitting an airpocket. You felt the Machine jump just before we stopped? That was us passing ourselves on the way back to the future.

 

In fear ran of the path and… changed history? Forced to stay in  past or forfeit by sticking hand into dinosaurs mouth!

We guarantee no one leaves the Path. He left it. Oh, the fool! I’ll have to report to the government. They might revoke our license to travel. Who knows what he’s done to Time, to History!
Not a little thing like that! Not a butterfly! cried Eckels. It fell to the floor and exquisite thing, a small thing that could upset balances and knock down a line of small dominoes and then big dominoes and the gigantic dominoes, all down the years across Time. Eckeles’ mind whirled. It couldn’t change things. Killing one butterfly couldn’t be that important! Could it?

 

The Gernsback Continuum

The Gernsback Continuum – William Gibson

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She saw these things as segments of a dream world, abandoned in the uncaring present…
..an elaborate prop for playing a dream world.

Frank Loyd Wrights Wax Building

They wanted the public to see the future.

1930’s Streamlined Designs

Albert Speer Stadiums

Sinister Totalitarian Design…

Structural truth of cheap materials

Worshiped blue mirrors and geometry

Future that never was – if the future imagined was the future now. Mass Dream.

Nothings there but people see it anyway, because they need to – Jung.

All these stories (aliens) are framed by in a kind of sci-fi imagery that permeates our culture. Bits of deep cultural imagery that have split off and taken on a life of their own.

The city looked like Metropolis and Things to Come

It had all the sinister fruitiness of Hitler Youth propaganda.

What is worse we could live in a perfect world…

The Pit and the Pendulum

The Pit and the Pendulum – by Edgar Allan Poe

http://poestories.com/read/pit

Then stole into my fancy like a rich musical note the thought of what sweet rest there must be in the grave.


Amid frequent and thoughtful endeavours to remember;amid earnest struggles to regather some token of the state of seeming nothings into huh my should had lapsed.


Scared to open eyes – exploring the world through touch.

Not allowing his vision to become a reality.

I dreaded the first glance at objects around me.


I thrust my arms wildly above and around me in all directions. I felt nothing,; yet dreaded to move a step, lest I should be impeded by the walls of a tomb.


Up to the period when I had fell I had counted fifty-two paces, and upon resuming my walk, I had counted forty-eight more. =100

Enclosed room.

Was walking forwards and tripped before falling down a circular well, or great depth.

To the victims of the tyranny, there was a choice of death with its direst physical agonies, or death with its most hideous moral horrors. I had been reserved for the later.


Upon awaking again, he see – notes how different he thought the room to be when it was dark. e.g. shape size. But is tied up again.

Describes that he is strapped into torture mechanism – swinging pendulum, watching it come down…


Down – still unceasingly – still inevitably down!
Rats…  They leaped in hundreds upon my person.
For the moment at least I was free!

Then the walls start closing in, push him towards the centre of the abyse…

Finished with being saved!

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