Sci Fi and the Big Ideas
Nowadays, everybody says that science fiction has stopped talking about Big Ideas. Science fiction used to be the genre that asked the huge questions, about who we are and where we’re going. But somehow, people say, the genre lost its appetite for deep thoughts.
—10 Recent Science Fiction Books That Are About Big Ideas
I was nine years old and really sick. So sick with allergies and sinuses and the lot that I missed over 30 days of fourth grade. For a while it was fun and then it got boring fast. I remembered someone gave me a graphic novel for the pilot episode of the TV series Battlestar Galactica. That, and seeing the first Star Wars movie and I was hooked. I was to be a lifelong Sci Fi fan.
But, talk to non-Sci Fi lovers about the genre and all they see is aliens with funny foreheads or unicorns or lasers. Good science fiction, really good science fiction is so much more.
Don’t get me wrong, I will be lining up for any JJ Abrams reboot of any of the franchises regardless of whether it’s good or not. But a truly great sci fi story sticks with you and makes you ask questions about our own humanity, our values. To me, science fiction gives us a breather, a moment to say, “This is not you. It is not your life. But consider, if it was you and your life, what would that mean??”
What are the big idea science fiction works in your life?
I’ll share some in the days to come, but let me start with “The Measure of a Man” – TNG Star Trek. What is life? How do we define life? And who defines and controls life?
In the end, it is often one individual against authority who makes a stand and wins or loses based on belief. And, if it takes funny foreheads and lasers to get there, I’m in.