Friday, August 20, 2010

Science Fiction: Text or Celluloid?

I have to tell ya, I love science fiction on the tube, the big screen, I'll take it wherever I can get it. Ironically, I'm not a big fan of Science Fiction in text form. If there's a story in there, then okay, I can read it. Too technical and I don't want to keep up. I know this is why horror fiction always pulled me in. It was the story of what the characters had to go through, to make it, to LIVE! Sure, it's fiction, and sure, it's a story that you most likely would never let yourself get into (unless you joined the local sacrificial cult, then yer askin' for it bubba), but you can probably relate to most situations in a horror tale. Science fiction, again there are the exceptions, never really pulled me in like horror has.

This brings me to Invasion: Earth, a six episode BBC series from 1998. Yes, that's right, I've just seen it 12 years later (thank you NetFlix!). This one does have a story, and I began to get involved with the characters, I was hooked. So this is where it gets interesting, the aliens are infiltrating (I won't tell you how or why) our system, our world as it were. And of course they're coming to take over the UK first! Better call up Manchester to come and kick some arse (that and a few pints of Guinness at their side). As we go along in the story, you have to wrap your head around the fact that this story is dealing with some weird avenues of "science" fiction. Which they continue throughout the whole series. They didn't just plop a little science fiction down in the first episode and then start kicking the alien ass. No, there is science all over this bad boy. But again, they kept a story going, with characters you like (and dislike) that makes you want to continue to tune in for the next episode. So if you have a chance, watch this, it's not your SGC or Star Trek, but I dare say it's a thinking mans story. Not that I have any idea about some of the science in this, ( certainly, mostly fiction ) but it was very interesting. As I'm watching the credits, (yes, I'm one of those), I see one of the names under "Story" is none other than Stephen Baxter. Yes "that" Stephen Baxter. The science fiction writer, who is known for "heavy in the science" department of his fiction. Which brought me back to yes, this is a science fiction story. Truly.

On science fiction in text, as well as film, that I've really found informative is The British Science Fiction Society for a lot of up-to-date happenings, interviews, and the like. Those British have a lot going on, (thankfully!) and of course a lot of their work gets published over here in the US as well. Some very specialized releases are coming from PS Publishing in the UK these days, in signed and limited releases from science fiction and horror writers.

You can get a great idea of PS Publishing in one of their Postscripts anthologies. The Michael Marshall Smith issue is particularly good and if features many authors like Chris Fowler, Rick Hautala, Connie Willis, Tim Lebbon, Joe Hill, Mark Morris, Stephen King (you've heard of him ;-), and a lot more.
You can see more about POSTSCRIPTS 10 at the Overlook Connection Bookstore.

Visit the British Science Fiction Association home page HERE!

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