Tuesday, July 24, 2007


The name Forbidden Planet says it all. We love science fiction. I admit it; I am a total "geek" when it comes to sci-fi television shows and movies. Star Trek? Deep Space Nine = awesome! Star Wars? Darth Vader is the baddest black man in outer space! Doctor Who? If you don't know, now you know! Battlestar Galactica? I haven't watched Season Three yet so don't spoil it for me! Regardless of your favorite show or movie, it's a great time to be a sci-fi fan whether you're a neophyte or a veteran to the genre.

Often when anyone mentions he/she is a fan of science fiction, stereotypes immediately pop up: "Geek," a thick glasses wearing virgin with bad acne and lacking in social skills. But these stigmas are breaking down. Even the "cool" kids are getting into sci-fi. Television and movies have become a great medium for introducing the general public to the nuances of science fiction.

Take for example the movies: Minority Report, Blade Runner, and Paycheck (Ben Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms). Each of these movies originated from the works of Philip K. Dick, the Clyde Drexler of Sci-Fi. And subsequently, each of these movies had major actors in them such as Tom "Xenu is my Lord and savior" Cruise, Harrison "My name contains two surnames of presidents" Ford, and Ben "I was the bomb in Phantoms" Affleck.

These movies were not about flying cars, Martian invasions, and post-apocalyptic worlds. They were grounded in frighteningly all-too-real possible futures. Minority Report deals with the fallibility of a justice system based on preemptive strikes against potential criminals. Blade Runner deals with the consequences of humanity playing G-d and the rights of artificial lifeforms. Do androids dream of electronic sheep? And Paycheck well had Ben Affleck in it. After Phantoms, that boy can do no wrong in my eyes.

Most people will know the three titles aforementioned, and most veterans of sci-fi are already familiar with Philip K. Dick's literary skill. If you're new to science fiction and enjoyed those movies, stop by and cop another one of his books. I suggest Man In The High Castle; it's about an alternate reality where Hitler defeated the Allied Powers. And to you hardcore fans, the Planet has not forgotten about you. From Blade Runner to Zap Gun, we have a lot of Dick; almost two and a half feet of Dick! I'm sure you'll find something that you have not read before, perhaps in The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick.

So if you are a "geek" don't worry. With the current trend of film makers, eventually all your favorite sci-fi stories will be made into a movie. And at that time, everyone will run to you for your expertise. Maybe a new Doctor Who movie? A new Battlestar Galactica movie? Or perhaps a Man In The High Castle film with Ben Affleck? I can still dream, can't I? And isn't that what science fiction is all about: dreaming of the possibilities. Shoo, even android do it.

- The Other Asian Guy



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