In the lore of Greek myths, naiad Pirene was grief-stricken by the death of her son, Cenchrias. She dissolved into a fountain of tears outside the gates of Corinth. It was said the essence of a naiad was tied to her spring; she could no longer exist if the spring dried up, as is often the case with inspiration and poetry. Pirene’s fountain was one of three springs associated with Pegasus, and was sacred to the muses, who drank of the waters for fresh inspiration.
At Pirene’s Fountain, it is our hope that we can share of each other’s knowledge, and in the spirit of Ancora Imparo –“ I am still learning,” open our hearts and minds to inspiration.
“Everybody has a secret world inside of them. I mean everybody.
― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 5: A Game of You
Science Fiction postulates what might be, and Fantasy what can never be; both plumb the depths of imagination. Writers of speculative fiction have a passion for world building and create wonderful, fantastical worlds inhabited by unimaginable creatures that use magic or futuristic science in their lives. Many of these writers also have a thorough grounding in mythology, science, and world history. H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Lord Dunsany, J R.R. Tolkien, Isaac Asimov, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Frank Herbert are only a few among myriad stars. Science Fiction and Fantasy also lends themselves to other, equally compelling forms, such as the Hayao Miyazaki films, and hundreds of movies and television shows.
“Without change something sleeps inside us and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.
—Frank Herbert: Duke Lito Artreides, Dune
Speculative fiction is often founded on the premise of a world in turmoil. Behind the robot and space stories, and tales of sword and sorcery, nuggets of real wisdom and philosophy resonate with readers. As far as these works travel from reality, they seem to be grounded in the ultimate fate of human beings. In worlds beset by politics, power struggles and wars, the solutions rest on the actions of a few ordinary heroes, who rise to the occasion, and instigate change.
“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”
—J.R.R. Tolkien: Galadriel, the Fellowship of the Ring
When you parse down the basics of speculative fiction, the underlying message is always about humanity, mirroring the dissatisfaction in our own lives. Speculative fiction tells us we are closer to each other than we think, and offers the hope of a utopian dream of peace and solidarity, if we are ready to participate in remaking our world.
“Our true nationality is mankind.”
― H.G. Wells