Oops! A couple of Sci-fi things I forgot to mention.

Just when I thought I was on top of everything (I wrote my blogger thingy TWO days in advance--just to make sure I had one on time...), I woke up this morning and realized I had left a couple of really essential items out!  (Ok, confession: I do my best thinking when I'm asleep). 

Point number 1:  Science fiction/fantasy of the last century (it is fun to say that) the 1900's, has embodied thinking that embraces racial (by way of using the other worldly, alien, and or critter) inclusiveness in society and relationships.

Point number 2:  It explores and tests societal rules and opinions.  Not only does it hold up a mirror to how different aspects of how humans operate in our societies, it offers new ways to think about ourselves and our relationships.

Point number 3:  It makes us think about how we define humanity.

 Romance has entered the science fiction/fantasy/futuristic arena long ago with Edgar Rice Burrough’s Tarzan series.  The relationship of Tarzan to his ape mother and to Jane so captured the world’s imagination that we’ve never been the same.  There were many Tarzan books that explored what it means to be human and how close to animals we really are.  Burroughs explored pretty thoroughly how civilized behavior isn’t so civilized sometimes.  Tarzan also visited other worldscapes in an Alice through the Looking Glass, kind of way.  Burroughs went on to write more series work, John Carter of Mars and one that escapes me at this moment about Venus.

Today’s Sci-fi/fantasy/futuristic romances carry on these fine traditional points.  It also gives writers a chance to be different—like the alien character whose urine smells like cinnamon and the poor female homeowner whose downstairs bathroom the alien keeps using….




Joan Vincent said...

Thanks for reminding us of the underpinnings of what we write and read. Often we enjoy the story without thinking beyond it or realizing we're influenced in subtle ways by it.

I second Starla's commenton the previous post. The blog has proven a wonderful forum to sample all of athe bloggers creativeness and skill in a manner previously not available.

Nina Sipes said...

You and Starla are right. The blog is much more than I ever expected it to be. We're sometimes blind to what we know. I am. Everyone else's articles have been fantastic. I really like the diversity and the depth. Each of us are so necessary to the finished piece. I've been checking back every day since the beginning post to see what the next installment will be like. I thought there would be a new one every day, but not so far. I think the blog will be very interesting to visitors.

And I think you're also correct about how much the written word influences people. I believe that paperback novels influence more people in profound, yet subtle ways than anything else on the planet. Much more than television or movies, because a reader has to internalize the message for a story to make sense. A person can zone out while watching a movie. If a reader zone's out, they have to re-read to enter back into the realm of the book.

Rox Delaney said...


How funny about the cinnamon and bathroom invasion.

My thoughts on the TV/Movies vs. books. We see "film" generally in omnicient POV (point of view, which we'll discuss here later), while we see books more in the point of view of one or two or maybe three characters. Only under certain conditions can we see or hear the thoughts of film characters, while in books, we're aware of what a specific charcter is thinking, hearing, seeing, etc., through his/her POV.

One more thing. In books, although we have a description of places, people and things from the writer, we each "see" everything in a book in different ways through our own imagination. Films rob us of that. However, I'll admit that I'd rather watch some actors than imagine them :)

Jeannie said...

Wow, Nina! I love this post. I've been reading F and SF for years, and I've rarely seen a statement that makes the basis for writing and reading them in such a succint manner! It's clear you know your stuff!

I loved Tarzan. I didn't read all the books, but my favorite one was TARZAN AND THE CITY OF GOLD. I loved it because it had such a great villainess in it! She was very beautiful, and she tried to seduce Tarzan. He, of course, held strong and true. However, it opened my eyes to the role of a different kind of woman. She was a great wicked queen.

Interesting point about the differences between films and books. I know a lot of my writing style has been influenced by TV and the movies. I ususally visualize the characters carrying out their roles when I write. It's sort of like a movie unfolding in my head.

When I was in high school and read a lot, I used to "cast" the book characters with some of my favorite TV and movie stars. It was a lot of fun. Don't do that as much anymore, but I'm still strong on visualization in my reading and writing.