April 11, 2013


By Andrew at 1:34 PM

Jules Verne, George Lucas: two noteworthy names that are nearly synonymous with the Science Fiction genre. What makes sci-fi, which covers a broad range of topics, so appealing to me? Some enjoy sci-fi for the possibilities they see in discovering our origins, others use it as an escape from reality. I tend to enjoy it for the technology, as well as the varied and beautiful settings that tend to go along with the style.

I have read “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” watched my share of “Star Wars,” “Star Trek,” and “Battlestar Galactica,” and the creators of each have their own ideas of what sci-fi should look like. I appreciate stories that deviate from space travel sci-fi, such as “Looper” or, arguably, “Inception,” but then again a superhero movie such as “Ironman” could almost be classified as sci-fi. I suppose I hold a somewhat literal view of what sci-fi is, stories relating to anything that entails events that revolve around activities that we have not scientifically discovered the means of accomplishing at this time. Space travel and gadgets are the immediate vehicle assumed for such stories, but even today a classic Vernian story regarding submarines, a mechanical contraption, is still among the top in the genre, even though we have progressed to nuclear powered submarines and so much more.

One common use for sci-fi in storytelling is the attempt to make controversial statements with a sci-fi facade in order to avoid controversy by staging a discussion in some other time and place. While fiction is frequently used as such a carrier, it seems that sci-fi is disproportionately used for such means. It is simple for other forms of fiction to take observers to another place, but the ability to transport to another time is much more evident if strange or undiscovered elements are introduced, especially when they seem futuristic. Along with strange surroundings come unfamiliar behaviors and reactions to situations which, be they correct or incorrect, could potentially be seen more objectively when removed from a more familiar context.

Science fiction is merely one form of storytelling. As such, it still requires intelligent storytelling to be enjoyable, even for someone with as much of a propensity toward enjoying sci-fi by its own merit as myself. There is definitely much potential to learn from such stories, but it can become all the more challenging to sift through the truths of such a story as it is disconnected from reality. Since I enjoy a good challenge, I hope that one day I have the opportunity to help create an engaging and challenging story that is deeply entrenched in sci-fi. And perhaps if I am fortunate, I may live to see the results of such an imagination become a reality, regardless of whether it is a technological or philosophical reality.

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