Flash Gordon is worth watching — nothing like cheesy Sci Fi Channel shows to finish off the evening. Stargate SG-1 may be no more, but there will always be plenty of second-rate science fiction to go around. Ah yes, the time portals, alien bounty-hunters, and nearly witty dialog… I don’t know that I could survive without it. I’d quote the dialog here, but the choicest lines defy reproduction.
I’ve been reemerging myself in some scifi roots lately rereading a few of my favorite novels. Of recent times, Fitzpatrick’s War is one of my favorites — possibly because nobody has heard of it, possibly because it’s currently a standalone work, but most likely because it’s written with skill. The characters are craft into a future setting in the 26th century in which America has fallen by 2081, and a new confederacy has arisen. It’s future fiction with all the trappings of science fiction: altered scientific possibilities (via satellites that disrupt electricity), the movement and motion of empires and civilization (a la Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series), but also the crafting of excellent characters with breath and emotion and the ripples of change carrying them through the pages.
A book of classic scifi persuasion, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury has my eyes rushing through each page looking to find more fuel for my mind and being completely satisfied with ever bit of it. The book’s overall theme shines the spotlight on the topic of censorship of books. Firemen no longer put out fires (because houses are now fireproof), but instead have been recruited as the enforcers of the government’s censorship program to burn books.
Most interesting though in Fahrenheit 451 is not the obvious theme of censorship. It speaks directly to other problems envisioned by Bradbury when he wrote the book in 1953 which affect our world today and speak strongly of the human condition in general. The protagonist in the story, Guy Montag, has a wife who holds no love for him. She stares at the television walls in her house all day, and at night has her ears stuffed w/ ‘seashells’ (Bradbury’s envisioning of what could now be considered portable radios, or, more aptly to present society, iPods). People are so distracted living in the fast times and drowning their minds in fun/entertainment that in the process they lose something of their souls.
In any case, if you’ve never read either of these books, I recommend them. At some point, I plan to also reread 1984 and Animal Farm.
If you’ve got any scifi you’d like to recommend, please leave your comments. (Oh, and don’t bother mentioning Star Wars Universe, Star Trek, or Halo books. Plus, I think Master Chief has more important tasks for you than reading.)