Posts Tagged ‘science fiction’

Star Trek (2008) Directed by: J.J. Abrams

I might have mentioned earlier (or maybe not) that my love of Star Trek had a very reluctant and rocky start in my childhood.  As a child in the 80s, there wasn’t an incredible amount of variety on television.  So many a weekend afternoon aired long marathons of Star Trek, Bruce Lee movies, etc.   My father, an avid Star Trek fan, wouldn’t miss a chance to sit and watch the episodes from the original show, and of course he was the one who introduced it to me.  I admit I wasn’t very receptive at first, but in time it grew on me, and I found myself addicted.  I’ve watched all remakes of it including Enterprise (and no, I don’t think it’s nearly as bad as people said it was – it’s actually one of my favorites).

Fast forward to adulthood.  I’m so thrilled that there are new, modern Star Trek movies for kids to see!  In a world that is drowning in Star Wars toys, games, movies, cartoons, etc., finally – FINALLY – they will get introduced to my world.  My husband and son are huge Star Wars fans, and of course, like any true Sci-Fi fan, I love it too.  But Star Trek will always be my favorite, and here’s some of the things you can learn if you watch Star Trek too:

 

1)       Friendly conflict is both normal and perhaps even expected. 

If you’ve ever seen Star Trek, you’ll know that the bickering that occurs between Dr. McCoy and Mr. Spock is never ending.  But when the heat is on and push comes to shove, these two always have each other’s backs.  Always.  They may disagree, but they also recognize there’s a bond between them that they may deny outwardly but would never abandon.  What a perfect example of overcoming our differences when it counts!

 

2)      To be a good leader, sometimes you have to break the rules.

Let’s be honest… if Captain Kirk always followed the rules, life would be boring on the USS Enterprise.  Kirk’s cavalier way of handling things makes the show that much more exciting.  You never know if he’s going to breach protocol when dealing with a new race, or metaphorically spit in the face of his superiors with pure disobedience, but either way, he teaches us a valuable lesson.  Sometimes rules were meant to be broken, sometimes those in power don’t have our best interests in heart.  We need to be able to think outside the box and make our own decisions so we can sleep at night.

 

3)      Too much logic can be a bad thing.

I love Spock!  He’s one of my favorites.  And being only half Vulcan, we know that he does have emotions (even if he won’t admit it).  But while logic has its place – being able to keep a cool head in times of trouble, not adding more emotion to an already heated situation, etc. – it does have a downfall.  Emotions help us to relay how we feel about a particular person or situation.  While they can messy and detrimental at times, they’re needed.  They help us weigh things better.  They help people understand us better; they forge a deeper connection.  They’re a necessary evil, so to speak.

 

4)      Meet new people, make new friends, help those in need.

The main premise of Star Trek is watching the crew visit new worlds and civilizations.  Time and again they’re being exposed to new people, and they learn to communicate and help those who need it.  While we’re pretty earth bound here, we can also take time to meet new people and make new friends.  Even if it’s just being cordial to the woman in back of us in line at the grocery store, we can take a few moments to chit chat.  Might be the only interaction they get that day.  You can also help a neighbor in need.

5)      Don’t wear a red shirt when you go out exploring. (I couldn’t resist!)

All those poor crew members in their red shirts who died without us even knowing their names!  Don’t be like them.  Wear ANY other color before you venture out.

 

What else have you learned from Star Trek?  Comment below, and don’t forget to see the new Star Trek movie!

Courtesy of FeelReal

Courtesy of FeelReal

Imagine you’re immersed in your favorite game.  You’re stranded on a beach, trying to collect items to use for your survival.  The graphics are excellent; you can see the sun’s rays glinting off of the water, the light radiating off the sand.  But that’s not all.  As you roam the beach, you can actually SMELL the scent of salt water in the air, the stench of rotting seaweed, a warm breeze blowing on your face, the feel of the ocean spray on your skin.  Talk about adding a new dimension to gaming!

It might sound too good to be true, but it’s very, very real.  Manufactured by FeelReal, this virtual reality mask brings the gaming experience to a whole new level.  Aside from the actual odor generating device, there are wind generators, a microphone and even openings for the occasional water mist to touch your skin.  The intricate controls in this gadget can even control the temperature of the wind!  It can be hot or cold, depending on what game you’re playing (I certainly would find this unpleasant if the game setting was located in Siberia!).

According to Yahoo Tech,  “A working prototype is in existence and early adopters can preorder the mask for $249.99 (about £170, AU$328). The preorder package includes four scents: jungle, ocean, fire and wind.”

Imagine Far Cry 4 or other top games with this newest sensory experience.  Expect it to hit shelves this summer!

I know, I know – it’s such a cliché to say this, but it really does seem like it was just yesterday when Science Fiction Zone was brought into existence.  And yet we’re one year old this month!

Before I begin, I just want to start off with a HUGE thank you to our readers, followers and fans.  I seriously cannot thank you enough for your support and participation on this site, our Facebook page and our Twitter page.  Without you, the site would have been a distant memory by now. You guys are AWESOME!

It’s amazing how many changes can take place in one calendar year.  At the urging of two very good friends, I decided to launch SFZ.  In those early days I remember feeling varying degrees of uncertainty, and how it was almost paralyzing at times. My biggest concern (aside from building and running the website with absolutely no experience whatsoever) was trying to captivate people’s interest by presenting ideas in an innovative and refreshing way.  SFZ had to bring something new to the table; we needed to go beyond news.  My goal was to discuss things that were different, controversial even – in the hopes that we could get a great debate going and get people really thinking about what they’re seeing/watching/reading in the genre. 

I think we’ve achieved that.  Yes, it’s only been our first year, but we’re continually growing and we’re stronger than ever. We’ve had some awesome guests share some really riveting articles, and we had the opportunity to interview some celebrities (such as Supernatural’s Jim Beaver , Doctor Who’s Noel Clarke, UFO Phil  and Legend’s Marie Lu to name just a few).   And there’s no stopping us now! 

Continue to stay tuned to read even more interesting and thought-provoking articles related to science fiction, fantasy (and even sometimes horror).   

And if you have ANY ideas at all for something you’d like to read, contact me at christine@theSFZ.com and I’ll review your suggestion. 

Thanks once again for all of your support!

When one thinks of “hot topics,” political and religious issues tend to come to mind first and foremost because they are the ones that are probably most debated and are most impacting to our society.  But to science fiction fans more genre-specific issues loom.  One in particular is whether or not fantasy should be included in the science fiction genre.

To many, it’s a no-brainer.  Science fiction typically refers to anything not of this world, and such could be said for the likes of vampires, werewolves, zombies etc.  I mean, they’re anything but human (even though they had a human form at one point).  While they aren’t actually from outer space, they’re unique enough where it’s clear as to why they’re included in the genre.  What’s interesting to note is that very often their transformation has something genetic or bio-chemical causing it – there’s your science right there, no?

Others don’t see it as cut and dry though.  There are those science fiction fans who believe that if it’s not hard core, it doesn’t belong.  They argue that vampires and werewolves have nothing to do with space travel, robots, alternate universes, etc. and should have their own genre separate from sci-fi.  An even harder pill for them to swallow is the fact that fantasy often contains magic – and hard core genre fans contest that glittery, poofy fairy magic definitely should not be allowed in a genre that has had such a strong foundation on science.

Something interesting to note though – hardcore fans may or may not realize that the earliest reference to science fiction didn’t occur in the 1800s.  It’s believed that the earliest form dates back to the Greek mythological times.  Think about it.  Humans transforming into strange creatures, the “gods” of the heavens abducting and interacting with innocent humans below, and planetary events that transpired on a daily basis.  Sounds like early sci-fi to me.  And no, it wasn’t all hard core science fiction.

Whichever school of thought you subscribe to, it’s clear that the fates of science fiction and fantasy are clearly intertwined and have been for many, many years. 

What are your thoughts?  Does fantasy belong under the science fiction umbrella?  Comment below!