1. I think people do sci-fi a huge disservice by lumping it as some sort of bizarre subculture genre when I think everybody's lives are impacted by sci-fi at some point.
2. It's ironic: In movies, the most successful films of all time have been sci-fi or fantasy. By far. But a lot of people won't even read science fiction books.
3. Remember, science fiction's always been the kind of first level alert to think about things to come. It's easier for an audience to take warnings from sci-fi without feeling that we're preaching to them. Every science fiction movie I have ever seen, any one that's worth its weight in celluloid, warns us about things that ultimately come true.
4. One of the great things about the sci-fi genre is that you can kind of get away with a bit more when talking politics, making social references or dealing with very hot-button topics because it is sci-fi.
5. All great sci-fi is: Be careful what you wish for.
6. My favorite sci-fi always uses its hook to amplify some bigger theme or idea - some emotional thrust.
7. I love sci-fi, especially when it thrives on a thought-provoking story, rather than explosions.
8. I think, typically, sci-fi can be a little bit grey and thought provoking. Sometimes it leaves you pondering certain questions and things.
9. Great sci-fi has never shied from tackling the Big Questions, though really great sci-fi never forgets to entertain us along the way. Shock and awe applies to art, as well.
10. “One of the things I've always liked about science fiction is the way it makes you think about things, and look at things from angles you'd never have thought about before.”
11. There's two tiers of science fiction: the McDonalds sci-fi like Star Trek, where they have an adventure and solve it before the last commercial, and there are books that once you've read, you never look at the world the same way again.
Science fiction can be a great vehicle for exploring deep questions and important ideas, but, at the heart of it all, if it doesn’t tell a good story, it has accomplished little more than a techno-twist on an Aesop’s Fable.
No one wants the moral to preach at them. It would be like baking spinach quiche and calling it a cookie. If I wanted the quiche, I would have made quiche, but since I wanted a cookie, don’t try to foist that spinach-and-egg stuff on me. But if the cookie looks and tastes like a cookie, but has half the carbs and more nutrients than a common cookie—heck, I don’t care, so long as it’s in the same category of the thing I was looking for, and satisfies me just as much.
It’s the same way with readers. When they go to fiction, they want a story that delights, entertains, intrigues, and speculates, and if that story happens to explore universal ideas along the way, that’s great. But it’s got to tell a great story first and foremost, or it misses its potential to appeal to the reader at any level.
So readers have specific ideas of what they look for when they read science fiction, and the writer should pay attention to those desires and expectations, so that the story can be shared most effectively.
12. So much of literary sci-fi is about creating worlds that are rich and detailed and make sense at a social level. We'll create a world for people and then later present a narrative in that world.
13. With any sci-fi fantasy storytelling, you must have rules be very clear, otherwise you lose people, like 'OK, they can fly; now they can't fly.'
14. I'd always thought that, in all the great sci-fi constructs, there's always the guy who seems like he's the commander, but then you reveal that there's an even bigger puppet master up above and beyond him.
15. To me a great sci-fi movie has elements of horror and suspense.
16. Science fiction films are not about science. They are about disaster, which is one of the oldest subjects of art.
In the end, science fiction creates the fusion between the questing mind and the longing heart. It is a way of understanding the history of the human race and, in doing so, to consider our future as well.
In some ways, the very act of asking the questions and bringing up the possibilities influences the trajectory toward the future, because, where minds are reshaped or imaginations wakened, change occurs. It is both a reflector and a predictor; a historian and a prophet. That is why science fiction can be both a dangerous and a necessary tool for a society; its sharpness can be turned either to good or to evil, depending on what questions it raises and how it answers them.
If you want to know a society’s deepest fears, greatest hopes, worst faults, and best qualities, explore its science fiction, and you will know.
17. I think it's too fast to say that all sci-fi ultimately winds up having some place in science. On the other hand, imaginative minds working outside of science as storytellers certainly have come upon ideas that, with the passing decades, have either materialized of come close to materializing.
18. I don't think humanity just replays history, but we are the same people our ancestors were, and our descendants are going to face a lot of the same situations we do. It's instructive to imagine how they would react, with different technologies on different worlds. That's why I write science fiction -- even though the term 'science fiction' excites disdain in certain persons.
19. Science fiction is the most important literature in the history of the world, because it's the history of ideas, the history of our civilization birthing itself. ...Science fiction is central to everything we've ever done, and people who make fun of science fiction writers don't know what they're talking about.
20. There's no real objection to escapism, in the right places... We all want to escape occasionally. But science fiction is often very far from escapism, in fact you might say that science fiction is escape into reality... It's a fiction which does concern itself with real issues: the origin of man; our future. In fact I can't think of any form of literature which is more concerned with real issues, reality.
If you like something I wrote here, you are free to share/quote it with credit and a link back to the original page on my website.
3/29/2021 10:29:07 pm
This is beautiful, thanks for sharing your quotes to us!
4/23/2023 10:59:50 am
A very mature take on a topic which is often sidelined.
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I write YA/adult fantasy & sci-fi that explores fantastic and interconnected worlds, with stories that burn through the darkest realities with hope and redemption.
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