[ExI] sf with pathos

John Grigg possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com
Sun Apr 19 22:47:10 UTC 2009

Spike wrote:
To continue, it seems there should be more SF/chick stuff out there.  I
don't mean just more gratuitous nudity in SF.  Well, on second thought more
gratuitous nudity would be fine too.  In Contact, the romance wasn't the
main point of the story, but the periodic attraction between Palmer Joss and
Dr. Arroway really adds a lot to the story and attracts major acting talent.
They understated way they did it in that film reminds me a lot of the way
real romance goes for many people.  It gave the film a nice authenticity.

Contrast Kirk's many meaningless flings such as the nearly fatal attraction
with the crazy green chick (ewww... ref. Whom Gods Destroy, season 3 episode
14, stardate 5718.3) and that exactly one time Spock got horny and all hell
broke loose.  If he doesn't pon farr T'Pring, he will die you see, ask any
Vulcan. (ref. T'Pring, Spock's Betrothed, season 2, episode 1, stardate
3372.7 and ohhh I am such a hopeless geek.)

SF should have some chick stuff mixed in with the cool technology and such.

It is a common critique of science fiction that the genre was practically
"asexual" in the '20's through '50's, or at the very best had very trite and
gender-stereotyping romances.  I remember being told that one classic sf
novel of the fifties had the brave spacefleet grand admiral of humanity
coming home to his wife after his great victory against alien forces, and
showing his affection by giving her a new oven!  And the novel ends on that

Philip Jose Farmer was famous/notorious for helping introduce sexuality into
sf.  And this brought him both acclaim and early in his career, some
rejection.  But as you bring up, often sex and romance in sf was shown in a
very adolescent way (just look at some of the cover artwork from years past,
or even some from today, lol).

But then what you are really talking about is the desire for well drawn and
realistic characterization (that shows the various facets of human beings,
including romantic attraction, etc.,).  I feel science fiction/speculative
fiction must first and foremost be well-written literature (and nowadays it
generally is...).

Damien, please chime in here.  You know vastly more about these subjects
than I do.

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