Thursday, July 28, 2011

Science Fiction For The Win!

I have done pretty much nothing but consume lots and lots of media since I finished my thesis for the summer. I've been reading blogs, books, short stories, and I've been watching old TV shows and movies, and I've been looking at magazines and fun websites, and naught else! (Although, I did attend a writing conference and a book conference in the interim.) But do you know what I have discovered this summer?

SCIENCE FICTION IS AMAZING! GBRTIFLBT! (that is the sound of my awe)

Not that I didn't already know this, but I have become a 100% SF nerd. Nay, geek. Nay, aficionado. Nay, back to geek. Geek-nerd. It makes my life so much more wonderful! More gbrtiflbt! (probably pronounced gibbertiflibbet)

This is how I react to science fiction. Squee!

That picture was taken after 4 hours of standing in line for the Grand Opening of Star Tours at Disneyland. Yeah: geek-nerd. I know.

It all started last summer, when the Gramps and I drove to Colorado to visit home. Every evening at 7pm in Colorado, the local PBS channel airs a Star Trek: The Original Series episode.

We reach.

The whole family gathers around the HDTV to watch and laugh and quote. We decide who is more like Spock (me), and who is more like McCoy (Mom), and who is more like Kirk (baby sister). Old-school Star Trek is at once ridiculous and awesome. There's no other way to explain it.

Also, Scotty is so handsome. And Scottish. Imagine that.

Don't. Insult. The Enterprise.

So I started watching Star Trek. Did you know that all Star Trek episodes, from all 5 TV incarnations, are available for free online? Yeah. And the wonderful Provo Library has all the Star Trek movies. There goes my life, down the drain. But it's all for a good cause!

Good Causes, Exhibit A: Wesley Crusher

*sigh* Like I said, it's all for a good cause (and yes, occasionally for a handsome one). As Ray Bradbury put it, all science fiction is metaphor. It explores what it means to be human, to live and die, to strive and fail. I would extend this to all speculative fiction, be it fantasy, dystopia, steampunk, etc. After all, did not the U.S. government just compare The Lord of the Rings to the debt crisis? That is because the story is built like an extended metaphor, just as most of our myths and legends are. SF for the win!

So, yes, I like Star Trek (I even found a hidden tribble in the 2009 movie). Yes, I like Star Wars (which is space fantasy, not science fiction, but that is a blog post unto itself). Yes, I like Ray Bradbury, H.G. Wells, and Jules Verne. Yes, I know the Three Laws of Robotics. Yes, I enjoyed Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis's Dragonlance books and I have Jurassic Park and Ghostbusters memorized and I have watched Peter Jackson's documentaries on the making of The Hobbit.

I can't wait for the Unexpected Journey!

Because, you know what? I am concerned about things like time, existence, futility, and godhood. I want to be a better person and to make the world a better place. And I believe that science fiction is the perfect laboratory for experimenting with the questions of humanity. We can learn from the mistakes that we never made and stop ourselves when we have gone too far. We can exist within our time by exploring other times. I like speculative fiction for that.

And, yes, it never hurts when there are lovable (aka crush-able) characters, either. Science fiction just feels like home, and home is where I want to be.

Toni out.