This post is kind of random, but it all makes sense in my head. I was talking with a girl I work with about what sci-fi shows and movies we like. Apart from Stargate, I’m not a hardcore sci-fi fan, but I’ve seen most of the major ones. It occured to me during the conversation, probably about the time I rattled off the name Deanna Troi with no more description than ‘that dark haired girl’, that while I love to watch sci-fi, I’m not the biggest fan of reading it.
So, I started to ponder why that is and I think I’ve come up with a resonable reason. I want to see the worlds. Show me what the spaceships look like. I went to see Avatar over the weekend and was thoroughly enthralled with the world they created. A forest connected by a neural network, how cool is that! Serenity is another fantastic movie that I couldn’t even imagine as a book. Imagine trying to describe the firefly with words. An entire book could be written just to describe the ship, but of course that’s not a viable idea. So think of what details would need to be cut. All the personal touches would be lost.
I think out of all the books I’ve read, the only ones I’d really consider sci-fi are the Dune series and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. (Perhaps this post came from a combination of tonight’s conversation and yesterday’s book scouring.) But I read a ton of fantasy. I loved Eragon and Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl. How is it that I love to read fantasy, but not sci-fi?
Again it comes down to wanting to see the world. Elves, dragons, and dwarves are generally the same with only minor differences from book to book, as are magic wands and wizards hats and castles. That gives me a base to work from. I don’t do so well with imagining technological things. For instance, I recently read Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. The book is actually steampunk, not exactly sci-fi, but it serves my purpose for this. In that book, he describes Walkers. These two-legged robot things. I can picture that part in my head. But then he went on to describe the details of it and those were totally lost on me. Sorry, I have no idea what ‘saunters’ are. Perhaps if I read more steampunk I’d understand. But since I don’t, I’m happy there were illustrations.
A picture’s worth a thousand words. And for sci-fi, I need every word of those pictures. Sorry, for once, I’m not really advocating books. But I’m a huge movie fan as well, so it’s all a matter of taste.