Some people remain enamored with a single genre all their lives. Not me. I enjoy swinging from place to place. Case in point: after I exhausted fantasy of its devices, and many, many princess, I hopped on a space shuttle to hurl myself into outer space; those vile aliens won’t kill themselves, after all.
I found myself shifting to science fiction because I felt like I was becoming trapped in the same old fantasy tropes. Rescue the princess, save the land from an encroaching Tolkein-esque evil, slay the dragon, etc, etc. Everything was becoming so stilted that I was beginning to lose interest entirely. So I began to search out new creative stories set against different epic backdrops. I knew what kind of plots I liked, over the top dramas and struggles against morality and great evil, but just didn’t know where to go in order to find a refreshing version of this palate.
Sci-Fi stood out. Or rather, Halo stood out. The convention, super soldiers battling alien foes, though worn out by the time I arrived, was, at the time, new to me. Furthermore, the concept of guns, bombs, space ships, and alien empires from the dawn of time struck me as intriguing. Indeed, as odd as it sounded these plots reminded me of a fictionalized account of world history; almost like world war two- in space!
Well, I loved every moment of my time with the Halo games. I promptly moved onto sci-fi books and other concepts not associated with the space marine concept (though that still held out persuasively in the form of Warhammer 40k). I spent some time with Advent Rising, though never was able to appreciate the stellar aspects of that cult classic game. I also spent much more time with Star Wars with numerous re-watchings of the new, and even old, trilogy. It was fun. It was as if I had finally caught something new to augment my time with and stretch my imagination to new frontiers.
Around this time my social situation improved a bit. I had access to a few good friends who understood me in addition to becoming more adjusted to the others in my school. The slid into sci-fi only helped this concept by allowing me to relate better to those students who were enjoying the splurge of Star Wars mania which was associated with the new films (which are better than the original, admit it!); years after their original release, the fact that the films still held sway over my generation is a testament.
You could argue successfully that the reason why I, and many other Geeks, are attracted to sci-fi is because it recasts the fantasy realm in the romantic hull of the frontier beyond human reckoning. Such is a fine interpretation; I believe it myself. Even so, however, it would be terribly reductionist to say this is all there is to the genre as sci-fi, as indicated by the artistic masterpieces of Urusla K. Le Guin, and others, have made it into a profound statement on the progress of humanity. I used to as a marker of my own sociality and though this marker would eventually be regulated to the same fate of fantasy, for a moment in my time it not only allowed me to grasp new ideas framed by old concepts, but delve into new horizons which would prove instrumental in later pursuits.
More on that, later.