Thursday, October 28, 2010

Science Fiction Is Dying

I stumbled across this unusually good article at Open Salon. I say unusually good because Open Salon consists in large part of writing on intensely personal issues, issues about which my interest could be measured in micro-giveashits.

I'd suggest you go read the article linked above, then come back and continue here.

I still remember Star Trek well. I was in 1st grade, and the word "trek", meaning a long journey, was not in our vocabulary, so we called it "Star Track", but every episode was the main topic of conversation at first recess the next school day. But that was the 60's, and it was a different world. We lived far slower-paced lives, and the population of San Diego County was 1/10 of what it is today.

Sic Transit Gloria Fuckin' Mundi :)

Part of the problem is that Science Fiction, as a genre, is far better suited to the written word than the video medium. And Americans simply do not read nearly as much as they used to. In a very real sense, Science Fiction is dying. This is in large part because the publishing industry has become so dominated by huge corporations, like everything else in the modern world. And huge corporations are both highly averse to bold risks, and very poor at doing anything original. Yet both boldness and originality are precisely what would be required to save Science Fiction as we know it. What will undoubtedly survive, will be puerile crap like "LOST", which is little more than reality TV with a thin veneer of artificial science fiction flavoring.

The Science Fiction Channel was probably never a viable commercial idea, but they did some excellent work in their younger years. Their production of Children of Dune was truly magnificent, for such a low-budget film. And it was a delight to my Inner Horndog, with more devastatingly-attractive actresses per square meter than any other film I've ever seen in my life. Awoooooooooooooooo! (down, boy, down!).

But when they changed the name to the unbearably cutesy "Sy-Fy", I knew the idea was in serious trouble. Ah well, as I said, it was probably never a commercially viable idea in the first place.

Television is a lost cause anyhow.

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