Monday, August 8, 2011

A birthday valentine

Happy Birthday to me... and it's already been a good birthday, even though it's early. Yesterday, the first local apples of the season arrived at my local farm stand -- Ginger Golds, a near-perfect balance of sweet and tart IMHO. I also started writing again. It's just a piece of backstory for the fantasy monstrosity I've been working on and blogging about, but it's the tip of an iceberg.

Today, I am 40 (shrugs). I ought to have some sort of contest or give-away, but sadly money is very tight for me as it is for a lot of people in this recession. So instead I am posting a little love note to science fiction and one particular under-appreciated movie that pushed me toward sci-fi.

2010: The Year We Make Contact

If you hear about this movie at all, it's usually in the context of how it wasn't as good as 2001. When I saw it, I didn't know that it was a sequel and somehow, in spite of having already seen Star Wars and Star Trek and Tron and the original Battlestar Galactica and many episodes of Tom Baker-era Dr. Who that gave me nightmares, it was 2010 that crushed all the space opera under a perfectly proportioned black monolith and made me a hard science fiction writer.

There's a moment in the movie where the Leonov is approaching Jupiter and the frame is simply the planet, black space, and the ship with its center portion spinning. It's burned on my brain: this is science fiction. Going out there, into the dangerous unknown, to find out what happened to the previous mission.

All the science fiction I've read or seen since then has covered all the great themes of the genre: action, adventure, fear, idealism, oppression, survival. Love. I've always been fond of the wonder, though. The cosmic grandeur. Sure, I've made my pilgrimage to Mordor, I've languished in Narnia and Earthsea. Fantasy has its grand themes of good and evil.

But space is different. You don't conquer it. It's eternal.

A planet, a ship and the void. I may leave you for a while, science fiction, but you know I'll come crawling back for more.

Closest I could find to the image that's burned on my brain

What genre would you write a valentine to?


Kathleen said...

Happy Birthday=)

I can't say that I have seen that movie. I can say that I am very interested in seeing it now=) You do a wonderful job of explaining why you love scifi, and I can tell by the way you wrote OS how much love you have for the genre!

David Powers King said...

Well, Happy Birthday! Good day to have one.

I would valentine Scifi myself. Love the genre, but it seems my niche is in fantasy.

The Golden Eagle said...

Happy Birthday! :)

I've seen 2001, but not 2010 . . . I didn't even know there was a movie of it until recently. Will have to see it sometime.

Lissa said...

I hope you had a really lovely birthday!

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