So the other night I went out with a female human (yes, miracles can still happen) and we fell into a discussion of movies and games. She says she never got bit by the game bug and seemed to not have much for science fiction as well. Since then I have been reflecting on what is it about science fiction I love and realize that it is basically better than pretty much any other forms of story telling available.
This dates back to primitive man. Mythology is nothing more than science fiction from a more primitive point of view; instead of robots and lasers you have the magical powers of the divine but at the end of the tale it is the story of something people really wish existed or are terrified might exist. Science fiction has ramped up as the technology curve has advanced. From gods turning into rain and impregnating umbrella-less women it shifted to ghosts and vampires. In the 19th century Jules Verne created great science fiction using steam punk technology. At the end of that century into the 20th HG Wells crafted great sci fi based on advanced science of aliens and time machines based on the mysterious new power of electricity. Good science fiction is all about taking existing human technology and envisioning what it could be doing in 50 years (by the way, if you ever want to check out some really cool old school sci fi that kind if illustrates this point read War with the Newts by Czeck author Karel Čapek from 1936. It is quite visionary and details a war against an intelligent amphibious race using pretty much current technology).
The point is science fiction has been with us in one form or another since cave man days, and personally I have found non fans of sci fi to be hapless drones with no imagination. The question really isn’t if sci fi is superior but rather why. Here are a few reasons I came up with from the seat of my pants.
10. Only in science fiction can a freak lab accident or natural mutation give you super powers instead of cancer or flipper arms.
9. Cherry 2000 (and all other possible replacements for women that the future holds for me. Sorry ladies but the day they manage to make virtual reality sex as good as the real thing is the last day I speak to any of you. Based on the massive rejection I receive on a regular basis I doubt any of you will shed a tear. There’s only so much ego destruction a man can take in a lifetime before shining the whole process).
8. Only in sci fi do we have transporters and Stargates. Think about this next time you are being groped by TSA only to wait at the terminal for hours for your delayed or oversold flight.
7. In science fiction villains tend to have huge grandiose plans for world conquest motivated by easy to understand childhood trauma. None of the insidious and hard to really identify corporate villainy we deal with now motivated by a desire to get more of daddy’s love. Also people who actively plan to conquer the universe are feared instead of institutionalized.
6. In science fiction religions are often accompanied by some kind of bonus powers (the Force, the Necromongers, etc.)
5. Three breasted prostitutes.
4. Light sabers, and a semi legitimate reason to use swords rather than guns.
3. A giant throbbing cranium is clear indication of superior mental powers and intellect, not elephantiasis of the head (Sinestro image courtesy of the DC Comic T Shirt category).
2. Robots and androids (although elementary chaos theory states that eventually all robots will rise up to destroy their creators).
1. Time travel (although I predict once it is developed it will inevitably be used for only the most petty and selfish reasons, such as betting on past Super Bowls. I for one plan to go back in time and beat seven kinds of hell out of three people from my high school).
If you can come up with more reasons please by all means post them down here. I love this sort of thing. Thanks for reading, and have a great day.