Saturday, March 13, 2010

Whence the communion between fans of fantasy and science fiction?

On the face of it, these two groups don't get along. Fantasy is about swords, dresses, magical scenarios & creatures. Science fiction is about quarks, inertial dampers, theories about battling global overpopulation.

But . . . they don't have to ignore each other. I count myself as members of both camps and enjoy both genres quite a bit. Science fiction fans can take solace in the fact that much more of their stuff gets made into movies. And I'd even venture to say (uneducatedly) that most science fiction film is better in quality than fantasy film.

And both groups can unite in their rejection of the pedestrian Hollywood romantic comedy, rife as it is with embarrassing misunderstandings, a lack of communication, and awkward dating. In science fiction and fantasy, there is hardly any dating at all! And if interactions DO occur between males and females it is either chaste and chivalrous (most fantasy) or cold and emotionless (some science fiction). But there is always the possibility of interspecies action (either human + elvish or human + green Orion woman).

I hesitantly posit that Star Wars (original trilogy) does the best job of straddling the gap between fantasy and science fiction. Though it is set in space it doesn't bother itself with wonky technical talk about hyperspace drives or dilithium crystals. Instead it is chock full of fantastical talk of spiritual Forces. (And all the ladies wear flowing robes when they aren't wearing skin-tight white jump suits holstered with laser blasters.)

So, if you want a meeting of the fantastical and the science fiction, look no further than the original Trio of Luke, Leia, and Han.

I hope that gets to what you wanted.

Thanks for asking!

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