Should Science Fiction Be Believable?

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Damn right! But not according to the movie and television industries.

With one exception – 2001 A Space Odyssey – every other science fiction film or television series that has come out of America simply beggars credulity.

The fact that the film in question didn’t become just another highly fanciful and therefore totally nonsensicle entertainment, is all down to Stanley Kubrick’s deep respect for Arthur C. Clark. After all, Arthur wrote the book on which the film is based, as well as co-writing the script with Stanley.

Like Arthur, I am a traditionalist. By that I mean that as a science fiction writer, every story I write has to be based in reality. Blame my father for introducing me to him and two other top science fiction writers of the twentieth century, Isaac Asimov and John Wyndham, at a young age. All three authors took great pains to make sure that their stories were believable, based on their scientific backgrounds.

While I’m no scientist, I did work in the School of Science at the University of Waikato in New Zealand for a quarter of a century, rubbing shoulders with chemists, physicists, biologists, earth scientists and many fine artisans like tool and die makers, glassblowers, photographers, cartographers etc, etc. So in my own small way, I try to adopt the same approach to writing science fiction that Arthur, Isaac and John took. It’s called research, if you were wondering…

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Click on the cover to got to The Guardian on Amazon.com

Take my latest scifi novella as an example of what I’m talking about. There are no weird and wonderful creatures to be found anywhere in its pages. Only believable characters. As for how they get to and from the Earth, there are no starships as in Star Trek. Only totally feasable computer controlled solar wind powered cargo transporters. The same can be said for the weapons they use. Each one actually exists, even though they are still in development by the US military. Even the two aliens and the guardian itself are totally believable. If you want to get a sense of what I’m on about, maybe you should get your own copy and read it for yourselves.

I seriously doubt The Guardian will ever make it to the plasma or silver screen. Why? just take a look at what is considered to be watchable science fiction these days. It seems to me that every so-called scifi film, and television series made on either side of the pond, is aimed at a collective audience with the combined mental age of a retarded four year old…

😉

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