Sunday, 23 March 2008

Lurker in the Lobby

I never thought that bounded rationality (to use Herbert Simon's appropriate concept) would force my blogging habits to become more like something on Twitter, but I don't have any other choice for the next 7 months or so.
Be this as it may, ahuthnance alerted me to the above title, and, lo and behold, it features an interview with none other than Dan O'Bannon!!! I was chuffed because this would seem to provide some evidence for the hypothesis I advanced in my earlier post about a particular Clark Ashton Smith story acting as a formative influence on O'Bannon's screenplay for Alien. Afterall, in this interview, O'Bannon emphasises how much he has always loved Lovecraft, and so as an avid reader of Weird Tales, it is very difficult to believe he would not have encountered Smith as well. I think part of the reason this has not been widely brought out before, other than a need to maybe hide a really obvious influence, is that there is not, unlike with Lovecraft, any cult of Smith sizeable enough to have banged on about this detail in a loud enough voice for anyone else to hear outside of their own circles (and perhaps the connection has never been uncovered anyway, which is my present operating assumption).
In a not entirely unrelated vein, I've also come across some interesting recent discussion of Darko Suvin's work on science fiction ("cognitive estrangement" as a defining element and so forth). I'm posting a reference here in the hope that I can find time to get to them later. Be sure to check out the links within the following piece:

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