Science fiction and graphic novels go together like a cape and a mask. You may not have considered it before, but the superhero genre really is just another version of sci-fi. Think about all the sci-fi concepts that pop up in your favorite comics: Radiation turns an ordinary man into a rampaging Hulk. A chemical explosion (plus lightning) grants The Flash his power of super-speed. Superman is the last survivor of an alien civilization. And it’s been this way from the start: Thirties Sunday newspaper comic strip heroes like Flash Gordon and Dan Dare were directly inspired by early pulp sci-fi. As comics matured into the form we call graphic novels, they also absorbed a more sophisticated understanding of science, and became more daring in their speculation of future technology. Here are some of my favorite graphic novel collections that blend super-heroics with super-science: Continue reading “Science Fiction Checklist Challenge: Graphic Novels”
There are many people who claim to be the inventors of Cyberpunk but the true inventor is highly debated. Cyberpunk is essentially about technology, specifically the Internet. It’s social decay wrapped in high technology; the ability to directly connect to the internet and interface with it in a virtual fashion; or just vastly superior technology to ours that may have developed a personality of its own.
My first experience with cyberpunk was a series called Shadowrun, which combined a destroyed future, magic, and advanced technology. Out of all the books I’ve read recently, Trouble and Her Friendsby Melissa Scott fit this series the closest. It had the element I appreciated most from Shadowrun, the ability to plug yourself into the internet and see it as if it were real. This book was exciting to read and I’m glad to see the idea of ‘jacking into the net’ being used in another world. Continue reading “Science Fiction Checklist Challenge: Cyberpunk”
Young adult science fiction is like, so hot right now. If you are a fan of violent future worlds in which teens struggle against corrupt regimes (but still manage to fall in love), there are plenty of titles to choose from. Perhaps you’ve heard of a little book called The Hunger Games? Or Divergent?
But there are also lots of other, lesser known dystopian titles to explore. For something a little quieter and more thoughtful, although every bit as dark, try Of Metal and Wishes. Set in what seems to be a far future China, the action takes place almost entirely within a bleak factory where robotic spiders and evil men prey on the powerless. Continue reading “Science Fiction Checklist Challenge: YA!”
When I think about aliens, Giorgio Tsoukalos from Ancient Aliens on the History Channel is actually the first thing that comes to mind. For those of you who haven’t seen the show, it examines unexplained historical events and monuments and theorizes that humanity was helped along at various points by ancient alien visitors. We have several sesasons available on DVD and if you check it out, keep an eye out for Tsoukalos, who is quite a fascinating guy.
If your interest in aliens leans more toward stories than theories, you’re in luck. The Seattle Public Library has an extensive science-fiction collection and aliens are to science-fiction what Giorgio Tsoukalos is to ancient alien theory – you can have one without the other, but why would you? The authors in the science-fiction genre have played with aliens in all their various forms for generations. Continue reading “Science Fiction Checklist Challenge: Aliens!”
Android, metal man, cyborg, automaton… these are all synonyms for Robot. Created by man to help make life easier, at least, this is what the hope is.
This idea of a robot can be seen throughout history. In Greek mythology, Hephaestus, a Greek god, made mechanical servants. There is a text in China called the Lie Zi which describes a humanoid automaton, and Leonardo Da Vinci had notebooks with sketches for humanoid robots.