Wednesday, 31 December 1997

Science Fiction - A Fan's Viewpoint

I like Star Trek, in all it's forms, be it classic, Next Generation, Deep Space Nine or Voyager. I have been watching it for as long as I can remember. I am a Trekkie.

I like the X-Files. I am an X-Phile, as fans of this show are called. I also like Babylon 5 (does this make me a Babylonian?). I like Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica, Blake's 7 (why do a lot of these series have numbers in their titles?), Sapphire and Steel, Earth 2 (the numbers again!), Sliders, Robocoop. You name it, and I probably like it.

I also watch Science Fiction films. I read Science Fiction books and comics. The adventures of the likes of Superman, Batman, Spider-Man et al are considered by many to be science fiction. Indeed, I grew up reading their comics.

I also like horror and fantasy films and books. Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolfman, the Mummy, anything by Tolkien, anything by Stephen King. I like it.

I also write Science Fiction and fantasy stories, finding ways that the characters from various universes can interact with each other, and adding a few more characters of my own.

And yet, we science fiction fans are treated as nerds, as wearers of awful jackets, as people who have no social life or friends whatsoever.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The only awful jacket I wear is when I have to work outside in my job (I work in a garden centre.) When I told someone I liked Star Trek, their reply was "Star Trek! That's namby-pamby stuff!" But tell me, when H.G. Wells launched his novels "The Time Machine" and "War of the Worlds", did anyone call him namby-pamby?

NO. I am writing this to let everyone in the world who is not a science fiction, fantasy or horror fan that not all of us science fiction fans are weirdos. We like it because we like it. Most of the time we are teased by those who do not understand the stories. A case in point - a couple of years ago, I knew a woman who watched Quantum Leap for one reason, and one reason only - because she had the hots for Scott Bakula, not because she understood any of the stories, because she kept asking me what was going on. I am writing to tell all science fiction fans one thing - do not be ashamed! The ones who make fund of us normal, working stiffs who just happen to like Star Trek are the ones who do not understand what it is all about. To all of you, I say one thing - peace and long life! Live long and prosper, because the needs of the many, far outweigh the needs of the few!