Thursday, July 25, 2013

Science Fiction

 
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.

4 comments:

Bill Crider said...

Ditto, Mel. There's just no describing the pure pleasure I used to get when I looked at the revolving wire rack and saw a new Ace Double or Pyramid or Ballantine SF book with one of those great covers.

Keith West said...

I agree. My son is so into video games that he is resistant to reading, which in my opinion is where the real treasures lie.

Gerald Roper said...

I remember my love of Andre Norton's stories, how my mind could visualize her landscape's, her character's & those creatures who somehow mindmelted long before Spoke. I have gone to used bookstores to restock my favorite's of her's,Bradbury, Matheson, Fredric Brown & so many others. Recently I found Edmond Hamilton & his wife Leigh Brackett. Through Haffner Press & their beautifluy bound hard back cover collection, these two blazed new worlds for me now as a 66 year old. Haffner also introduced me to Henry Kuttner & are reprinting some Fredric Brown.....ahhhh, the teen reading years return. So much to read & so little time. My son grew up reading alot of my favorites, including Jack London. Now my grand children don't care to read, as you observed, video games & movies take the books place. I'll say this, I really love the Star Trek & Star Wars, especially the Marvel comics I still read today up on giant screens, with exploding sound effects & music blaring! But I rarely buy the DVD's, I'd rather read. And I understand the e-books, but still love turning pages, even the smell of old & new books is wonderful to me (in case's not so much), those you leave on the shelf. Oh, let me share with you my excitement of seeing a copy of Forbidden Planet on the wall at Black Sheep used bookstore. Good copy, asking $15, since I'd never seen one & it's still one of my favorite movies ever, I had to buy it! You know the joy of a find like this I'm sure. Well, I had tell someone like yourself, most of my close friends would just look at me, and "so?", their not readers either. Well, i need to stop, I've got Marvel comics to read, so bye for now. Wishing you good reading.

Gerald Roper said...

I remember my love of Andre Norton's stories, how my mind could visualize her landscape's, her character's & those creatures who somehow mindmelted long before Spoke. I have gone to used bookstores to restock my favorite's of her's,Bradbury, Matheson, Fredric Brown & so many others. Recently I found Edmond Hamilton & his wife Leigh Brackett. Through Haffner Press & their beautifluy bound hard back cover collection, these two blazed new worlds for me now as a 66 year old. Haffner also introduced me to Henry Kuttner & are reprinting some Fredric Brown.....ahhhh, the teen reading years return. So much to read & so little time. My son grew up reading alot of my favorites, including Jack London. Now my grand children don't care to read, as you observed, video games & movies take the books place. I'll say this, I really love the Star Trek & Star Wars, especially the Marvel comics I still read today up on giant screens, with exploding sound effects & music blaring! But I rarely buy the DVD's, I'd rather read. And I understand the e-books, but still love turning pages, even the smell of old & new books is wonderful to me (in case's not so much), those you leave on the shelf. Oh, let me share with you my excitement of seeing a copy of Forbidden Planet on the wall at Black Sheep used bookstore. Good copy, asking $15, since I'd never seen one & it's still one of my favorite movies ever, I had to buy it! You know the joy of a find like this I'm sure. Well, I had tell someone like yourself, most of my close friends would just look at me, and "so?", their not readers either. Well, i need to stop, I've got Marvel comics to read, so bye for now. Wishing you good reading.