Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Why I love Sci Fi

Inspired by the conversation on ABC radio today I just wanted to show my appreciation for all things Sci Fi and make it known it is not mindless rubbish but a thinking persons genre.

I was having a "conversation" with my wife about my fondness for Star Trek (well she was having a swipe at me really) and I was trying to raise the argument that you have to look beyond the funny costumes to appreciate it.

For many people Sci Fi is just fantasy, an imaginary world where you can escape into, that is why sci fi and fantasy seem to merge into one genre at times.

I am of the other view that sci fi takes a future which is not written yet, there are possibilities, unknowns, new inventions new worlds, new life forms to come.

Take for example in 1987 when Star Trek The Next Generation was created there were devices similar to the newly released iPad, it was called a PADD. Perhaps it was the inspiration for such a device. Flat screens were used on the enterprise long before they were in use and isolinear optical chips could be seen to be similar to flash drives.

The creators of the show created a possibility and inventors inspired by these ideas brought then to life.

Star Trek was a revolution in tackling issues such as interracial marriage in a time during the civil rights movement. It has also tackles issues such as euthanasia, death, love. Start Trek also poses moral questions such as torture and how it is unreliable.

What comes across from the show is a deep sense of integrity, strong values and a firm belief in right and wrong. The Prime directive is similar to a Doctors oath to "do no harm" or interfere with societies that are not ready to develop technology.

And yet through all the advances in technology it accepts the frailties of life and death is still a companion to all although without any religious overtones which is refreshing.

It also poses technical and physical questions like how to travel faster than light, how time travel would effect your past and future. Some can be real brain teasers, they may be founded in fantasy, but there were a lots of scientific terms that would only be heard in a physics class at university like neutrinos and multiple dimensions.

Yes i know many wore strange headpieces but perhaps the Klingon's represented our fighting side as opposed to the Vulcan's out logical side(who deeply repressed their emotions). Or perhaps acceptance of those who are different from us.

I know they always save the day at the end of the show but if you look at it in it's original context in the 1960's, the world was going to come to a horrible end, it was almost an inevitability that we would suffer mutual destruction at the strike of a nuclear bomb. It showed that even after such horrific destruction, the human spirit would survive, and would eventually prosper.

And yes before you ask, i have been to 2 star trek conventions, but no i didn't wear any uniforms.

And that is just one show, many scifi programs have been blended in thriller or horror genres as well such as alien, or event horizon but then there were films such as GATACA which posed a question about a society where to get ahead you have to be genetically engineered or chosen. There is a class difference based on your genes. It was I think a warning of where we are headed as well.

Sci fi is a thinking persons genre, one that is forgotten because some people can't get past the clothes and the face masks, but whenever you see a Jane Austin film they dress up and talk in a funny way too don't they.
Unfortunately Sci Fi is not regarded highly by Production Companies, they can be expensive to produce as they do involve special effects etc and Television stations usually treat the fans with contempt (cancelling without notice and moving time slots etc). But as a fan we suffer for our passion. Then there are the B grade, low budget programs that do give Sci Fi a bad name.

Gene Roddenberry's world lives on, his vision still a positive one.

By the way guys I pretty much know Star Wars (yes that's what we used to call it until it became episode 4 a new hope) word for word.

Just a quote that was mentioned on the radio

Han Solo "..that's because a droid don't pull people's arms out of their sockets when they lose."

C3PO "I suggest a new strategy R2, let the wookie win."

I think in 1982 we got our first VCR and that was the very first thing we recorded and EVERY time my cousin came over we watched Star Wars.
To finish this rant i have to say it comes
Peace and Long Life....Live Long and Prosper
My favourite Sci Fi Shows/Movies
Star Trek- all series and movies
Star Wars- all movies
Alien Movies
Red Dwarf (comedy Series)
Dr Who


  1. An inspiring conversation on ABC radio? It didn't happen to include a wookie impersonation, did it? :-)

    Welcome to the blogging community!

  2. So much sci-fi gets a bum rap, when it deserves so much better. (Not that there isn't crap out there, but there is in any genre.)

    I have to admit that (despite my now-public love of Star Wars) I really only dabble in sci-fi, but many of my favourite books and movies are in the genre.

    Have you seen the series Spaced? So many great Star Wars and other references. I bet Simon Pegg was chuffed to play Scotty.

  3. No I have to admit I have to catch up on the recent scifi shows. My life is dora, diego and all things kids. It's only what I can squeeze in after work at midnight these days.

    We have lost some of the orginial Star Trek crew already namely Deforest kelly, James doohan, Gene and his wife Majel Barrett and from what I can see Leonard Nimoy is looking very fraile.

    Did you know James doohan was canadian and didn't speak with a scottish accent. He also lost a finger on the Normany Landing during world war 2.