Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sci Fi Sunday: Exploring the Universe of Unfettered Imagination

Science fiction is a category of fiction that blends the craft of fiction with scientific speculations based on current or future science and technology. Or, as Wikipedia defines it, "a genre of fiction dealing with imaginative content such as futuristic settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, time travel, faster than light travel, parallel universes and extraterrestrial life."

My grandmother was a huge fan of the genre, her shelves packed with works by Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clark among others.

My first Michael Crichton read was The Andromeda Strain that I pulled from her shelf back in the Sixties. I also borrowed Planet of the Apes from off her shelf, along with many others of such caliber that many became Hollywood films of note during my lifetime.

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1823) is an early example of the form, which captivated the imaginations of many writers. H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds and his Time Machine both advanced the sci fi appetite amongst readers, as did Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Whereas readers of science fiction are many, the general culture more often encounters the ideas of great sci fi writers when their works become fleshed out on the silver screen. Jurassic Park, Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Johnny Mnemonic, the latter an example of the cyberpunk school by William Gibson. His nihilistic worlds bring dark future scenarios to bear upon people striving to remain human in an increasingly oppressive environment. The first Gibson novel I read was Mona Lisa Overdrive.

One writer whose works have captured an audience through Hollywood is Philip K. Dick, who has had at least nine stories transformed into film. His cult classic Blade Runner was based on a story he wrote called Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep? Other well known big name films include Total Recall (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Minority Report (Tom Cruise).

Alas, as a writer I have likewise amused myself with the writing of a few stories of a sci fi character. Here's something a little different that has garnered different reactions from readers, including LOL and "I don't get it." I enjoyed writing it. Maybe you'll enjoy reading it.

An Angry Visitor from Xon

For a different kind of story, download a Free copy of the art project Intergalactica, a steampunk era fairy tale collaboration that three of us created for Artist Kamikaze IV. 52 pages, copyright 2013.

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