For the last two, three–I can’t even tell anymore– weeks, I’ve been reading and working and looking up and working on writing this academic paper for school. The teacher gives us full freedom to choose our topic, stressing (rather indirectly) that the topic doesn’t matter really. It’s really meant to teach us about proper formatting and putting words together to form a paragraph that won’t set off her grammar nazi alarm. Sure, I’m majoring in hard cold science, but I’ve never left my love for literature and popular media. So I decided to write a paper on science fiction.
Specific title: Science Fiction as a Prediction of the Future.
What that means is, apparently, as I soon discover, reading tons and tons of books, getting distracted over a zillion times as more and more science fiction authors’ names come up, and generally staring at an empty page and trying to figure out how to put down everything that I’ve read in coherent paragraphs that won’t set off the teacher’s alarm.
The paper’s finished now and managed to pass the minimum page count, which I did by stretching the narration as far as I could.
I’m really never sure what I’m writing there, or even if I know anything about what I’m writing at all. Because science fiction, apparently, dammit, isn’t just some literary genre. It’s a movement. It’s a whole system. It’s a thing people can spend their entire life studying. Science fiction is serious business.
I mean. The paper’s all done and finished and ready to print now, but I still don’t know how to explain everything I’ve learned the last few weeks in a single blog post. I don’t care about the paper anymore, it’s done. But it does feel like a bit of a shame that I can’t really put all those things down.
So, instead I’m just going to list the prominent names that I can pick off the top of my head.
- Jules Verne
- H.G. Wells
- Hugo Gernsback
- Isaac Asimov
- Robert Heinlein
- Arthur C. Clarke
- Philip K. Dick
- Leinster Murray
- William Gibson
- Star Trek. Star Trek. Star Trek. Star Trek.
Next up I think I’m going to write a quick review of the things I’ve read in the process of getting this paper written. You should see my reading backlog. It’s enormous.