Journal 9-10 by Ariel Dantona

As strange as it may sound, prior to taking this class I never really deeply considered whether or not I was a member of any one fandom in particular, as my interests have always spanned a vast array of genres when it comes to movies, literature, and the like. However, after having focused upon science fiction novels and stories and discussed various other mediums in this class, I now feel that I can certainly call myself a fan of science fiction without any disgust or fear of social stigma. Just as it is in any fandom, there is a great range of dedication, and I see myself as a more casual fan, who may be more inclined to experience something because it is labelled as science fiction and collect action figures or comics here and there.

Now that I consider it, I actually have had an affinity for science fiction films from an early age, primarily due to the fact that my father, who was raised in the 1940s, exposed me to the black-and-white films of the early 20th century that focused upon aliens, robots, distant worlds, and scientific oddities. Also, in conjunction with that, when I was about six-years-old, I would hide behind the couch in order to watch the R-rated films that my brother viewed, which exposed me to one of my all-time favorite movies: Alien. From that age on, I collected almost all of the available Alien action figures and comics, and have since had a bit of a tendency to collect small, (typically) inexpensive trinkets from various science fiction films and TV shows, such as Star Wars, Dr. Who, Predator, and Ghost in the Shell.

When it comes to literature, I can honestly say that my interests narrow a bit, and I tend to prefer satirical short stories like ‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman, and dystopian novels such as Brave New World, 1984, and Fahrenheit 451 and graphic novels like Watchmen. I suppose my main problem with a lot of science fiction literature is that I simply feel that I cannot relate to the characters, even if I try to think fantastically — for example, I simply could not care what became of Shevek in The Dispossessed or Ponter in Hominids. I am not entirely sure why this is, despite the fact that I have since tried on many occasions to explore the possible causes and look deeper into the characters.

I feel that, as far as gamers go, they are similar to science fiction fans in that they are more wont to have conventions and seek others with similar interests in order to compare notes and gain new interpretations and/or skills. Just as science fiction stimulates people to talk with one another about the contents of various sci-fi works, video games stimulate people to want to play with one another and share in a medium that is challenging in its own ways. I also think that science fiction fans and gamers tend to blend because video games, especially the ones today, tend to have various sci-fi elements (robots, aliens, scientific advancements, etc.) and even present challenging stories and satirical points. Bioshock, for example, focuses heavily upon an underwater utopia in which people are corrupted by scientific advancements that grant them power, even at the expense of others, a plot that can be very appealing to science fiction fans. The same can be said about Arkham City, Mass Effect, and Halo.

Overall, I don’t think there’s anything to be ashamed of in terms of enjoying science fiction or video games, just as there is nothing shameful about being a fan of any other genre or activity. Science fiction can, after all, be incredibly intellectually rewarding and stimulating in all of its forms.

One Response to “Journal 9-10 by Ariel Dantona”

  1. Warren Rochelle says:

    Shevek is one of my favorite characters! Sigh. Nice post.