A lot of today's science fiction is smart and action-filled, but not so much chockfull of wonder. Part of that is my fault. Along the way, made curious by all the science fiction I devoured as a kid, excited by the space program, I became too knowledgeable for the science fiction I grew up on.
I read stuff now, or watch my son play through immersive games like Mass Effect, and I just don't have that sense of wonder I used to have as a kid. I weigh and measure every postulate that is presented. I figure out for myself what scenarios are possible and what scenarios are not. I'm too jaded, too much the cynic, and I no longer get totally wowed by the marvels that I see taking shape in books, movies, and games.
But every now and again, I see a cover like the one above, and I remember that twelve and thirteen year old boy that ventured out into worlds that will never be (Pluto isn't even a planet anymore) armed with a sword or a ray gun and a sense of adventure. That boy had a great life that I realize my fifteen year old son never will have. The bar for his sense of wonder is set much higher.
Even though I grew up without video games and television, and without a doting father who made sure I had plenty of games and books and watched Dr. Who with me, I think I had the better childhood. And I regret that I can't give him that same sense of marvel and discovery.