Friday, February 10, 2012

Reflection OR Style

The first images that came to mind when I used to think of Sci-Fi were those from Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate SG1 and Battlestar Gallactica. Until this class I always associated Sci-Fi with that type outer space unrealism that characterizes the settings, plots, and conflicts of those shows. However, “Liar,” “Frankenstein,” “The Algorithms for Love,” “Second Variety,” Take Your Choice,” “Flowers of Algernon,” and “Burning Chrome” changed my perspective. With that said, my former perspective certainly wasn’t limited to the “Star Wars/Star Trek” notion, but it also wasn’t as expansive as it is now. By “expansive” I mean the realism of the stories we’ve read so far. For example, all of the stories we’ve read, except for one, (“Second Variety”) didn’t contain any violent battles for survival like the shows and films of above. On the contrary, they dealt with realistic emotional issues in realistic sort of ways. In “Liar” readers are introduced to four primary characters, one of them being a robot. The story focuses on the emotional/mental conflicts of the three human characters. The robot, though important, is secondary to these conflicts. Furthermore, the conflicts themselves are realistic in that they involve love, jealousy, and fear.

 “Frankenstein” was probably the last story (of the ones we’ve read) that I would associate with Sci-Fi. I think I would attribute this to the time period it was written in. My thoughts, notions, and preconceptions of the 18th century are anything but “scientific.” In other words, they are the complete opposite of the preconceived notions of Sci-Fi I had before this class. However, I now see “Frankenstein” as incredibly scientific for its time, so I guess I now see it as a “Sci-Fi/Horror” genre, as opposed to just horror.

Even though I enjoyed all of the stories (except for “Burning Chrome”), I still prefer the one (“Second Variety”) that most closely conforms with my preconceived notions of the Sci-Fi genre. What reading is to the average English professor, video games, war movies, and heavy metal is to me. In other words, I like action, and intensity in general. I read a lot, but mostly only about non-fiction topics such as current national and international events, sports, and military history. I’m not much of a fiction reader (unless it’s Star Wars), so stories with a lot of intense action are more likely to keep my attention than those without it. It allows me to interact with the story more, even more so than ones that are more emotionally realistic. I don’t mind stories of the latter; it just comes down to personal preference; nothing more, nothing less. In other words, I think my personal preferences play a significant the way I view Sci-Fi. I’m glad that this class has not only challenged my perspective, but challenged it with stories I enjoyed reading despite a lack of action (again, this does not apply to “Burning Chrome”).

1 comment:

  1. Good. I'm glad that, except for Gibson, it's working for you. There's a lot of interesting war/action SF out there for you. Maybe you'd be interested in "The Forever War," for example.

    There's a ton of interest in current SF to explore ways to get traditional literature to work together with video games. I think games like the Portal series really speak to this. I'm also really invested in Atlus' Persona/Catherine work, which seems to combine really cool experimental storytelling with your standard dungeon crawl model. Alternatively, there's really interesting stuff like the Dear Esther mod/game based on the Half-Life engine. Have you given some of these weirder narratives a try?

    Note: your blog is currently set to Pacific time, and as a result all your posts are 3 hours off. Could you please change it to Eastern so you're clearly on time? Thanks.