Imagination Connoisseur, Stubble McShave, explains how past sci-fi work has helped color the way we look things in the present (the future of the past).
Greetings to the Evangelist of Entertainment Enthusiasm.
I wanted to talk a little about Science Fiction. This will just be a stream of thoughts without much connecting them, but that should be familiar to you since you also go out on some tangents at times.
Science Fiction has always been the genre that asked: “what if”. It looked at what we were as a civilization today and extrapolated to a possible vision of the future. Some of these future visions were dystopian as in 1984 whereas some were more excited for a more positive future as could be seen in earlier Star Trek.
I don’t think the general public realizes how many of our cultural cornerstones are science fiction concepts. Both the visions of Jules Verne featuring technological wonders in adventure stories as well as Mary Shelley extrapolating on the science of life and electricity in Frankenstein are not considered Science Fiction by some, just because they were written more than a century ago. They have become ingrained into our collective cultural consciousness and are just seen as legendary stories.
Much of our technological development have been formed through the visions of Science Fiction. The i-Pad is clearly inspired by the PADD in Star Trek, the Personal Access Display Device. One can only wonder what technology that’s featured in today’s Science Fiction media that will become reality in 10 or 15 years.
As I said earlier, Science Fiction is the genre of “What if”. It’s also often a very allegorical genre. It, just as Fantasy, makes it possible to examine a touchy subject through an allegorical lens.
One of my favourite episodes of Star Trek is the STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE (ST:DS9) episode “Duet”. It examines the issue of concentration camps through the eyes of someone distant from our own human history. It can delve into these issues in a way that we couldn’t do about the Holocaust and concentration camps here on Earth because our own emotional baggage gets in the way. If any PGS members haven’t seen the episode you should, it’s one of the best hour of television ever produced. And on a much smaller budget than today´s Star Trek.
I prefer much of the classic Science Fiction from the modern contemporary. There are however some modern Science Fiction books that I think is great. I started reading THE EXPANSE series before it was made into a tv-series and I always liked it. It’s a Science Fiction series that deals with many big things at once. It’s has hard, military SF elements as well as political intrigue and mystery solving. If we get more book series like that it bodes well for the future of the genre.
I will finish with a few words about DUNE. One thing that I always appreciated about DUNE was how Frank Herbert interconnected Spice to magic as well as to the economy and to space travel. The interconnectedness of Spice in all forms of the society makes into a strong plot device that Frank uses to great effect. DUNE was one of the best space opera book series that I’ve read, at least the first few books. I didn’t care as much for some of the later ones.
It’s also one of my favourite books that has a 3rd omniscient POV, were we see a given scene from everyone’s viewpoint. DUNE and THE HOBBIT are two of the most famous 3rd omnicient books. I hope the upcoming DUNE movies will make the books justice.
I will end this with a quote from Brandon Sanderson:
“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.”
– Stubble M.