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5Captain k'alaa's Corner for May, 2003

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  • kalaahod <kalaahod@yahoo.co.uk>
    May 21, 2003
      Science fiction fans are basically optimists. You know, your
      standard "glass is half-full" people . Every science fiction fan I
      have met seems to enjoy (even more than the story) the positive
      aspects of his or her favorite show or book. And then suddenly, at
      that point, most fans diverge in opinion. Where one person will base
      their life on, for example, a certain friendship in Star Trek,
      another person will dismiss it as derivative and call only stories
      found in books "true science fiction". While all opinions have their
      valid points, I must point out that the very nature of science
      fiction itself invites, even demands divergence of opinion. Why do I
      say this?

      Number one: the example of H.G. Wells springs to mind. His idea of
      the future was one of wonder, excitement and surprise. Several
      generations of science fiction writers were strongly influenced by
      his work.

      Number two: From the 1930's to the 1970's, there was a group of
      science fiction writers who came up with most of the basic principles
      (the ABC's) of science fiction as we know it today. They are the
      pioneers who defined modern science fiction and fantasy. Each writer
      had his or her own take on spinning tales...but the main philosophy
      of exploring the unknown remained the same. Gene Roddenberry, Sidney
      Wilson and Verity Lambert, Douglas Adams, and George Lucas are the
      direct inheritors of this legacy. These people have themselves said
      they were inspired by the science fiction of their youth.

      Number three: Science Fiction and Fantasy has basically opened our
      minds to events and circumstances impossible to find in everyday
      life. I would go so far to say as this is the main appeal of science
      fiction...exploring the unknown in the safety of a book or movie
      without the chance of nasty sand fleas jumping on your skin . Want
      to ride a rocket? Discover the cure to a disease? Create a world? The
      possibilites go as far as the creator's and the reader's imaginations
      will allow.

      But...what does all this have to do with inviting divergence of
      opinion? My answer is that every story is a human story. Every word
      put to a page, whether it be to describe a different world, to
      examine a relationship formed among the characters, or to expound on
      a plot device is put there to form a human idea.
      Human stories and ideas by their very nature are divergent. Science
      fiction at its best explores those divergent viewpoints. How many
      human ideas does it take to make a believable world? How many human
      stories does it take to make a believable universe? Ideas, by their
      very nature often conflict with one another. Other times, they often
      see a problem, an event or a person from an angle not readily
      apparent to the casual viewer.

      To build a world in a few pages takes skill and imagination. Hard
      work, ingenuity and stamina! Let's remember as fans all the hard-
      working, intelligent writers, actors, directors and producers that
      make science fiction possible.