Monday, 14 March 2011

Science Fiction vs. Fantasy and Life Lessons

I've always wondered what the definable difference between science fiction and fantasy is.

Growing up all I knew was that Star Wars was sci-fi and Lord Of The Rings was fantasy. I could never figure out what made the difference between those two, but I guessed it had something to do with the fact that sci-fi generally seemed more about technically propelled concepts and ideas like space ships, holograms, robots, droids and other such things. Now that I think about it, if that's the way I define sci-fi, the James Bond series definitely has some sci-fi elements to it. A car that can completely cloak itself? I don't believe such a thing exists...

So I decided while bored at work tonight to Google what people considered sci-fi and fantasy. I found this quote:




Science fiction consists of improbable possibilities, fantasy of plausible impossibilities.



*boom* Brain explodes and rains down all over my desk and keyboard. I'm not very good at understanding technical discussions.

An easier explanation of it:



Science fiction and fantasy stories are make-believe tales. Fantasy stories are unlikely tales that have strange or imagined characters, places, or events. Science fiction stories are about life in the future or life on other planets.




Ahhhh. *relieved sigh* My brain cells trickle back into my head.
That's the difference between sci-fi and fantasy that I inherently understood but was unable to place my finger on. James Bond is probably considered to be in the "action" genre, with elements of sci-fi peppered through it. I've noticed that the most recent movies with Daniel Craig (*drool*) have more probable gadgets given to him. Nothing as outlandish (or interesting) as some of the devices used in the older movies.

And of course, I cannot mention Daniel Craig without an little homage to him:



Thank God for beautiful people. I mean, we're all fairly beautiful in unique and special ways, but he really does WIN.


Speaking of "winning"...how messed has Charlie Sheen been lately? Is it all a game to woo publicity and get the attention of the world? Or is he actually suffering through some schizophrenic-like issues? Whatever the case may be, a Charlie Sheen reality show will probably end up gracing our tv sets as we continue to obsess and track every move of celebrities that we love to hate and hate to love. And dammit, I'm talking about Charlie Sheen! This is exactly what he wants! I told myself I wasn't going to sink to this level...

I've gone way off the beaten track. My thoughts about sci-fi vs. fantasy began when I started making a list of favourite sci-fi movies. So here it is:

  • Minority Report
  • Equilibrium
  • X-Men
  • Signs
  • I, Robot
  • The Island
  • Serenity
  • War Of The Worlds
  • V For Vendetta
  • Cloverfield
  • Inception
  • Watchmen


My friend contested X-Men, questioning it's validity as a sci-fi movie which is what prompted the discussion and research into what really makes a movie science fiction.

Considering the list, I realize that some of my favourite movie quotes are from the movies listed above.

"You have a choice." -Minority Report

"But I, being poor, have only my dreams. I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread softly, for you tread on my dreams." -Equilibrium

"You're waiting for a train. A train that will take you far away. You know where you hope the train will take you, but you can't be sure. But it doesn't matter because we'll be together." -Inception

"I live my life free of compromise, and step into the shadows without complaint or regret." - Watchmen

" No. Not even in the face of Armageddon. Never compromise." - Watchmen

I could go on and on, but I'll leave it there. When you think about it, it's strange and intriguing that movie which focus on a futuristic existence still manage to strike a chord in the human psyche and heart. Whether we're living in a bubble or shifting through time or having a robot make us breakfast, we're all the same underneath. Our human characteristics, attributes, flaws...they're reflected even in the "improbable possibilities".

I like that concept. I like that our humanity chases us down, no matter how robotic or inhuman we might visualize our world to be or even hope for.

What I like even more than contemplating feelings and emotions is waking up to sunshine trying to force it's way past my black curtains into my room. A little breeze moves the curtains around and he stirs beside me in bed, rolling over and putting his arms around me. There is such security and comfort in him being there, in his kisses and little endearments, and he patiently reassures my fearful heart that he will be back the next night and the weekend after, the following weekend and even the weekend after that.

"I'm not leaving you," he says and kisses me gently. I look into his eyes and see honesty and love...love that is overwhelming and undeserved, love that startles me to tears so frequently and that scares me. What ifs can crowd my mind and leave me concerned that I'll be reckless and hurt him, that I'll bore him, that one of us will love more than the other, that I'll ultimately disappoint him somehow...

Fear is always lurking but it's wrong and I'm slowly learning to challenge it.

"Do not be afraid of death...be afraid of the unlived life..."







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