by G. Robert Frazier
Back in the day, writers could “invent” any idea and make it happen with little regard for scientific accuracy or plausibility. If they could dream it up, they would write about it.
Doctor Who’s sonic screwdriver comes to mind. What can’t it do, for instance? It seems like the Doctor, whenever he’s in a crutch, has only to pull it out and adjust a setting and “bingo,” it somehow helps bail him and the universe out of certain doom. No explanations offered or needed.
Gadgets like the communicators on Star Trek may have seemed far-fetched at the time, but are no longer science fiction. Just look at that smart phone in your pocket.
Heck, they even have hoverboards now.
Today is National Science Fiction Day, created to honor the great Isaac Asimov on his birthday. Asimov created some of the most thought-provoking fiction with such classics as the iRobot and Foundation series.
The best science fiction tales can make you wonder about your place in the universe. 2001: A Space Odyssey and the new movie Arrival both work by creating a sense of awe and wonder. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein may be regarded as a horror story by many, but has long explored the issue of creationism.
Science fiction also offers writers an opportunity to convey social warnings and commentary in the guise of fiction. Just how far should man push the envelope?
But it’s also a fun medium. Where else can you thrill to epic space battles ala Star Wars or Heinlein’s Starship Troopers or the previously mentioned crazy antics of that beloved Gallifrean timelord?
In celebration of National Science Fiction Day, I’ve compiled some of my favorite movies, authors and more.
Favorite science fiction movies:
- 2001 A Space Odyssey
- Star Wars
- Star Trek
- ET the Extraterrestrial
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Contact and Arrival
- Planet of the Apes
- War of the Worlds
- The Matrix trilogy
- Superman and Superman II
Favorite SciFi TV
- Star Trek
- The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits
- Babylon 5
- Doctor Who
- SyFy Channel – The Expanse (renowned for things like Sharknado)
- The X-Files
Favorite Sci-Fi Authors
- H.G. Wells
- Edgar Rice Burroughs
- Isaac Asimov
- Alan Dean Foster
- Arthur C. Clarke
- Rod Serling
- Frank Herbert’s Dune
- Ben Bova
- HP Lovecraft
Science Fiction Magazines
- Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine
- Apex Magazine
- Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
Other cool Sci-Fi links:
- How America’s Leading Science Fiction Authors Are Shaping Your Future
- Best science fiction and fantasy books of 2016
- Museum of Science Fiction
- Science Fiction Resource Association
- The Science Fiction Foundation
Don’t see your favorites? Add them to the Comments box below!