Lately, I have dedicated a lot of this space to goofing around with ideas about the future, alternate dimensions and the like… it’s funny how people who can’t grasp certain concepts will simply relegate everything of such into the dust bin called ‘science fiction’.
That term, and its abbreviation ‘sci-fi’ is such a pejorative that even the ‘sci-fi’ cable channel, despite being wildly popular, decided it was too geeky so they changed their name to ‘Syfy’. Of course, ‘Syfy’ is simply a homonym and intentional misspelling. But that’s ‘branding’ for you – push the envelope until you have something so original, so fresh, so unique that perhaps it just really isn’t unique at all and, is, in fact – infinitely stupid.
Literature that becomes labeled ‘Science Fiction’, whether or not it is intentionally written for that ‘genre’, is writing for the kids who studied in class. But, the fact that it is considered ‘geeky’ is simply a symptom of how the American cultural media machine glorifies stupidity. Of course, the media machine bases it’s entire existence on superficialities, so it shouldn’t be surprising that the socially promoted gems of our media world elite, who have flashy smiles and really nice hair really can’t understand the fascination with life on other planets or beings that do not have physical form or time travel or … [insert list of typical ‘science fiction’ topics here].
Fiction is literature is writing is art. Some of it is ‘better’, from a myriad of critical perspectives, than others, but like anything else, what you like to read, watch, etc. is more a matter of exposure than taste. Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, George Orwell, Philip K. Dick and Edgar Allen Poe are some of the best known of the genre, but what about Stanislaw Lem, Harlan Ellison, Anthony Burgess, Frederick Pohl, Douglas Adams, and Frank Herbert? Some names are familiar, some not. Why? The books are out there. You just have to go out there and find them.