Jan. 16th, 2016

kiki_eng: GIF - Nikola Tesla of Sanctuary has eyes closed, text: "SCIENCE!", Tesla opens eyes, Text: "(with benefits)" (Nikola Tesla: Science!  With benefits!)
I tend to forget that I love sci-fi; it wasn't my childhood the way fantasy was and the roots are sort of less deep. I started getting into sci-fi in my early adulthood, which retrospectively feels like a good time for it, because of the exploratory nature of a lot of sci-fi.

The most recent sci-fi thing that I consumed was Star Wars Episode VII and my hands-down favourite thing about that film was BB-8. Yes, I know there are other cool things in that, but BB-8. BB-8! Brave toaster adorable loyal earnest robot having conversations with robots and people and being vulnerable and going questing and following directions. I love the beloved robot and BB-8 is now officially my favourite. Other examples of the trope would be Tony Stark's lab robots as sketched out by fandom, and John Crichton's 1812.

Farscape tends to be the series that I reference as my favourite, because they got so much right in it; it's so many of the things that I want science fiction to be. One of the things that it does, that is almost a nothing thing, but that I like, is with language: give me your alien swear words. I love alien swear words, partially because I can use them in RL without offending anyone, and the meta aspect of that with the show doing the same thing as I am amuses me a little bit, but it's also a tiny part of thinking about language and culture. A Clockwork Orange is really good for that. I'm interested in people exploring culture in science fiction and I like seeing that done through language.

I like myself a dystopia novel. I feel like that's my adolescence right there, but it's also important, I think. Dystopias are important for the ways that they allow us to examine aspects of our own culture. Welcome to Night Vale is fantastic for that and I love it to pieces for how it depicts terrible things in mundane, human, and absurdist ways. I find it incredibly comforting.

I also really like what TV Tropes refers to as the Patrick Stewart Speech for the same reason. I love that speech that embraces both the flaws and possibilities of humanity. I love how The Doctor is so in love with humans, like, he picked a species that wasn't that fantastic, objectively, and just fell in love with them. ...and I love John Crichton's place in Farscape and the episode Crackers Don't Matter where he is the least advanced species on board; I really like that reversal and how it flies in the face of our common conception of our own importance.

The X-Files was kinda good for that, too, like, humanity is facing this overwhelming force, and, within the circle of people in the know Fox Mulder is kind of the shining light. Fox Mulder. The X-Files also has the whole giant conspiracy thing that I am a fan of, like, yes, give me Area 51, give me people in aluminum foil hats with poor hygeine, I would like a traveling mobile home and a bad sweater vest. (I would also like this in conjunction with the Avro Arrow, but that is a side tangent.) That just makes me happy.* The lone gunmen made me happy. Give me your paranoia and possibly some early 90s hacker aesthetic and I am pleased as punch.

*I feel Men In Black was good for this.

Hackers. Hackers was great. Give me your bicycles and skateboards. (Dark Angel) Give me your ridiculous visualisations of computer systems. All of the visualisations of computer systems all of the time. Rogue Computers. (There's a MacGyver episode with that - the 90s were great, and you've got kind of, The Matrix as one of the ultimate evil computer things, spinning out nicely with the evil AI.) Give me your technology aesthetic - the 1980s era TARDIS and Nyssa, fantastic. Give me your painted dragon fruit. I feel like there is, in any respectable alien fruit arrangement, a painted dragon fruit. I want to see the painted dragon fruit still lifes. I want to see how it is all put together. I actually really liked the 2009 Syfy production, Alice for that reason, like, there are all these little tiny universes that we see - Hatter's trading house and the whole resistance in the library and there are all of these different things going on in that world; it's nice.

I like tropes in general, and I find episodic sci-fi can be really good for me for that, because there are trope plot lines or themes that they will tackle. So, like, there's SG-1 and SGA that'll do things and, like, Sliders was great, because every single episode was alternate universe, doppelgangers, and something else. The X-Files had some really slick trope episodes. Sanctuary had a lot of trope episodes, and also Nikola Tesla, Immortal Vampire, for which I may love it forever.

So, yeah, I like tropes in general and serial sci-fi tends to be really good for that. I also just like sci-fi in general; let's explore things and ask questions! It's nice.

(This entry was written for [personal profile] calvinahobbes' prompt for the Second-Half of January meme that I am doing.)

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