Hello, dear Readers!
The site that lies before you is my humble attempt at getting down, in some form or other, my thoughts and meandering musings on SCIENCE FICTION, also known as: Future Fiction, SF, SciFi, SyFy (eugh), Future Fantasy, Science Fantasy, and many other names besides.
I have been a fan of Science Fiction - hereafter referred to as SF - in all these guises for many years; certainly since I was very small. My uncle (on my mother's side) is a noted SF author, my father has written one published SF work and a few that remain in manuscript form only, and I - it must be said - live much of my life within its boundaries. If I am not painting up National Bolshevik Republic troops to fight the European Federation, or watching something like Blade Runner or Children of Men, I am reading a ripping yarn such as The Invisible Man or a zarjaz graphic novel like Sinister/Dexter: Slay Per View.
SF entertains, informs and educates. It provides us with a glimpse into the human condition, and enables the creators and consumers to explore society. From Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, through to Ursula K LeGuin's The Disposessed and on, SF has been used to present a critique of society, and in many cases, an alternative to the norm. This, I feel, is the main function of the first of two main strands of SF: social analysis. It can be overt, as in Peter F Hamilton's laissez-faire post-warming world of Mindstar Rising, or subtle, as in J.G. Ballard's The Drowned World.
The second strand, perhaps unfairly, I shall crudely label 'pulp'. This is the realm of the raygun, of the monstrously large galactic empires, Flash Gordon and Ming the Merciless, beautiful women and nuclear rockets. It is, more than anything else, there for entertainment and - in many cases - to make the author a quick quid. And there's nothing wrong with that. Pulp can be insightful, inspiring and subtle: witness, for example, Harlan Ellison's "Repent, Harlequin!" Said The Ticktockman, written for Galaxy magazine. Equally, Pulp SF can be heroically daft: Barbarella and Barb Wire both spring to mind.
So, we have two broad types of SF - Analytical, and Pulp. These are, of course, crude measures, and I am certain that I will alter this definition as I blog. I want to develop a dialectic with you, my readers, so - there - my first Thesis. Present me with an Antithesis, and, in the grand manner of Hegel himself, we will synthesise them into a new Thesis... only to continue the cycle.
Now, with that short, and possibly rambling first post out of the way, I will sign off with the promise that I will blog as often as possible.
Onwards - to new futures!