Monday, August 23, 2010

On The Value Of Science Fiction-Part 1

Obviously I am a Science Fiction fan.  I will be writing about other genres, such as Mysteries, eventually in this blog.  But I became a SF reader around the age of 8 and have been hooked ever since.
This is a good thing.  Most people have at best a brief fling with SF.  They may read a few books as teenagers, and the they ‘grow up’.  But some of us, the special ones, don’t lose our taste for it.
I am mainly talking here about written SF.  There are some good movies out there and a few TV shows, but most of visual SF is crap.  It's here comes the monster, scream, shoot him with your ray gun and kiss the girl.  There is little of the depth and thoughtfulness of written SF there on the screen.
The audience, or market, for written SF is different.  Yes some of us, some of the time, want mindless entertainment.  But a high percentage of SF has more going for it than just a good story.  It makes you think. 
People who like to think, who want to think are the audience for SF. 

 That makes it a ghetto.  Because 99 percent of the human race does not fall into this category.  People who think.  They tried it once, it hurt their brains, so they gave it up.

If you believe that people who think are important in this 21st century technological, complicated world, then you might agree with me.  About the importance of people who read SF. 
I am not the only one who has said this.  I remember reading a book,  a collection of essays by Isaac Asimov, that was making the same point.  Better than I am.
But the point I am actually trying to make is the value of juvenile SF.  Because if we are going to have at least some children grow up and be competent to run this world and maybe even make it better, then we need juvenile SF.
That is how they will get hooked into reading SF and that will expand their minds.  They will develop that Sense of Wonder that we seem to have lost here in America. 
Is juvenile SF being written and is it any good?  I know that Charles Sheffield, with some help from Jerry Pournelle, wrote a series of juvenile SF books not too many years ago.
And I have been somewhat absent from current SF for a variety of reasons.  Maybe there are Graphic novels or video games that fill the need for good, thought-provoking juvenile SF but I doubt it.  My opinion of most SF of that type is that it consists of blowing  things up as quick as you can and little else.
I could be wrong.  I have started to read SF blogs looking for information on this area but am finding little.
So if I have any actual readers out there I would like to know if there is any juvenile SF recently published. 
Maybe I am Chicken Little and the sky isn’t falling.
Anyway, this rant, or editorial will be continued occasionally.  But mostly I am going to write about the SF I love. 
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