Friday, July 9, 2010


I'm a sucker for science fiction. What other genre explores the human potential so thoroughly and stretches our imagination into the unknown?

"Science fiction is the improbable made possible." --Rod Serling (creator of the Twilight Zone)

And yet sciFi is so underrated in our culture. So many people reject the fundamental theories of science, things like the big bang, evolution, global climate change, even the germ theory of disease. You'd think that a civilization that has made the leap into space would be more receptive to science and logic as a way of life. The same is true of science fiction. In the literary world, it is likewise not taken seriously as a craft, often dismissed as epic space operas, rather than deep symbolic or allegorical social commentary.

Author Kurt Vonnegut made this comment, "I have been a soreheaded occupant of a file drawer labeled 'science fiction' ever since, and I would like out, particularly since so many serious critics regularly mistake the drawer for a urinal."

Scientist Richard Dawkins wrote in his book Unweaving the Rainbow that "the best of science fiction seems to me an important literary form in its own right, snobbishly underrated by some scholars of literature. More than one reputable scientist has been introduced to what I am calling the spirit of wonder through an early fascination with science fiction."

And sure, there's a plethora of junk sci fi out there too. But the technological and medical advances of today were the science fiction of yesterday.




Star Trek

The Matrix



Ender's Game

Atlas Shrugged

Brave New World

A Wrinkle in Time

The Time Machine

A Handmaid's Tale

A Clockwork Orange

Flowers for Algernon

2001: A Space Odyssey

The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Journey to the Center of the Earth

Stranger in a Strange Land

Out of the Silent Planet

Slaughterhouse Five

Battlestar Gallactica

Back to the Future

The Twilight Zone

Planet of the Apes

Battlefield Earth

Fahrenheit 451

Jurassic Park

The Jetsons


Star Wars

Dr. Who



The list goes on and on. These stories have shaped and influenced our culture and enchanted the imaginations of our society for generations. Who would have thought 50 years ago that we could sit in a movie theater and watch a film like Avatar in 3D? Truly, the stuff of science fiction.