Monday, April 15, 2013

About Science Fiction

Trek was really my first SF experience. I always loved that
the Enterprise had a headlight.
This is my genre.

I choose to write SF more than any other genre because there are so many potentialities inherent in it. I can write SF in any time-period I like, stories can be set in any place - real or imagined - I like, my characters can be based on real people or completely invented from scratch.

There's really no boundary to what can be called science fiction. It is, in fact, quite broad and inclusive. Open to anyone who wants to come in and be provoked into thinking about the world as it is today or tomorrow or far, far beyond that. Imagination in the extreme.

Limitless.

THAT's why I love reading SF. (And to be sure - let's call it SF so as not to be confused with SyFy, the TV channel. I know you're used to saying SciFi because that's a great shorthand, and SF means San Francisco to the majority [but don't dare call it 'Frisco, that's verboten] but trust me, SF also means Science Fiction.)

(How many asides is that?)

Reading. Writing. Watching. Science Fiction appeals to me because one can see the best possibilities in humankind alongside the absolute worst. And somehow everything is fair game in SF because you suspend your disbelief to experience. When you open an SF book or comic you don't expect to see places or people you're familiar with. You're ready to be plunged into a world wholly new, maybe semi-recognizable, and possibly strange. Some really great SF happens in 'the real world' (Inception, for one, the weird SF of H.P. Lovecraft) but that's really just a jumping on point. The world of the story is what counts.

Now, realistically, visually-produced SF (film, video, even art) costs. Budgets for the fantastic are less in terms of drawing or painting than they are in film or video, but they are still sometimes heady. Film and video pull us in easily (as does any good art) and we're ready and willing to suspend our disbelief as long as things don't get too silly. Still with me?

Good. Now this is the point: SF is everywhere. It inspires scientists to search, to discover, and that's a good thing. Laptops, streaming media, nuclear submarines, flying aircraft carriers. (Okay, not that last one. Not yet, anyway.) Armor like that of Iron Man's is being developed. People are working on alternate propulsion methods to get rockets off the ground faster, more safely, and more efficiently. Science hasn't caught up to SF yet because writers can imagine what's next.

But so can a lot of people. SF is wonderfully inclusive. All it asks of the reader or viewer is to come along for the ride and be willing to believe in what it's trying to tell you. Only for a little while. Think about it later and dismiss it or don't, but while you're in that world all you have to do is believe.

That is why Science Fiction is my genre and I'm proud of it. That is why I write Science Fiction.

Because Science Fiction is everywhere.