Friday, February 26, 2010

"Science Fiction", the "Bad" Word of Academia

I'm still trying to recover from a cold, although I have been getting better each day. I had a couple of relapses last night though, and so I mostly took it easy today and stayed in doors.

Because of that I'm going to keep this week's blog entry kind of short but I hope it will be inspirational enough for anybody who reads it.

I was reading an online article from USA Today the other day about how science fiction movies have been viewed by the mainstream more respectfully and seriously than they had several decades ago. Particularly this has been reflected in the Oscar nominations. According to Marco R. della Cava of USA Today, Avatar and District 9 have been chosen to run for best-picture Oscar.

The article goes on to talk about how "science fiction" has been looked at as a scary word by many serious movie viewers and critics who probably lean more towards the academic/scholarly side of film. To the majority of academics and scholars, "science fiction" is either a mere literary marketing genre term, a term for mere unintelligent escape fiction with a scientific backdrop or both. But the good science fiction, as opposed to pulpish science fiction, will not only be character driven but will, through its narration and the drama within, comment on society by showing us where society is headed based on where it is at now. More typically science fiction does this with technology's impact on society, but it can also deal with the non-technological social changes as well. After all, sociology is a science. A very few high quality science fiction works have been placed in the literary cannon over the last couple of centuries, Orwell's 1984 and Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 are two examples.

and District 9 also in their own ways comment on society of today and where it's headed, according to Cava's article, "Otherwordly and Oscar-worthy: Science fiction's profile soars". If more people can just see this in the well-made science fiction films and literary works, the word "science fiction" may not be merely looked at as nothing more as a mass marketing term or a term for escapist entertainment.

I'd like to leave more with you, but as I said, I haven't been my best this week and so the whole week as been in silent chaotic limbo as far as schedules go. But please let me know what you think of all this and leave your comments!

Until next week . . . !




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