Frivolous while waiting for the curtain to rise

Jukka Halme • November 8th, 2008 @ 10:32 am • Uncategorized

The most active sf/f-website in Finland is called Risingshadow.net. It has both Finnish and English versions and is managed by active fans, who are not part of the more actively faannish group of people who arrange Finncon’s and/or make magazines. Obviously there is some overlapping, but for the porpoise of my hyperbola, we’ll let that pass us by. The users are mainly younger folk than us geriactics that are running the show (more like mouth, if you ask them youngsters), which makes the fora at the same time interesting and depressing.

You get questions that cover the entire length and wide of the speculative fiction spectrum, smart questions (and answers) about various authors and/or books, movies, comics etc. Occasionally you get mingled into something you should’ve had the intellect to steer away from, but were unable to do so since you just could not help yourself. Then there are those, that just have no idea and think that a forum like this could be a great place to make someone do your homework for you. Like asking for a brief summary of the history of science fiction. Which I thought I had to answer. Like this (“slightly” rewritten):

The Father of Scientific Fiction (abbreviated by ScaiFai, as you know of course) has often been called Issax Asimow, whose most famous sfici-novel is SpaceOdysseus 2000, perhaps better known as the motion picture, by the same name, directed by Stephen Spielberger. In the movie, astronauts find a great monolith from the Moon, in which a Starchild is living in (you can see the child in the poster).

Before Assimow, there were some so called proto-writers, like Danielle Defoe, who wrote the memorable Spacefamily Robinso, also perhaps better known as the movie Lost in Spacebar. Many remember fondly the robot-Friday, who is often compared to Frankenstein, which was a monster of the Mary Shelly novel of the same name (Lost in Space). Frankenbenstein was a creature of Count Dracula, who collected various bodyparts and joined them together with the help of a lightning strike to a kite. Obviously both the name and the incident relates to the famous American president Benjamin Frank, who was not only a president, but also an inventor (he invented for example phonogram, sonogram and tetragammaton, not to mention light bulb).

Of the most famous and important new fs-authors one should mention Richard K. Dick (author of such classics as Bladder Runner, Minority Reporter, Paycheck and Paul Verhoeven’s Partial Recall), Stanislaus Lemm (author of Solaris or Stalker), Alasdair Reynolds (famous for his Culture-novels, including Player of Names and Consider Leban) and definitely not forget such domestic talents as Johannes Sinisalo (Pessi and Illusia) and Leena Khorn of the Tainaroni’n’cheese-fame.

Many Scientific Fiction deals with ideas and themes like: Immortality (Washmen by Alan More and Dave Gibbon, a stunningly original take on Olive Newton-John’s classic Xanadu), Monsters (Predator: Sloth China Saw by Jeff VanderMuir about a fantasy-writer, who makes friends with a lovable slow-moving creature that turns into a harrowing monster), Immorality (Void Captains Table by Normal Spinradiator, a chilling remake of the TItanic disaster), Technological Development (Neuromanger by William Gibson Stratocaster, a bleak look at the way large corporations and their greed have slowed down interwebs, causing uncontrollable anger among young, frustrated teenagers, who are joined neurally by a virus to form a collective hivemind) and Computer Supremacy (1948, a dystopy of the world where pigs and other evil animals have taken over the planet), and Robots&Spaceships (Starhip Trooper by Robert Erwin Heinlein, to which Star Wreck is mostly based on).

Some other notables include Alfredo Bester and his Babylonia 5 -novels, Rank Herbert’s Doon-books and Ursula Le Quin’s UrthSea-sequence. Sime might include also Arthur C-Clarke, but I was never a big fan of his Robot-stories.

Now, an operatic interlude. I’ll be back though, with some parting thoughts. Wish me… What do people wish in these instances? Break a leg? Lose your voice? Ding a wombat?

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