Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Won't someone think of the aliens?

I saw District 9 this weekend. Now I know that this isn't a movie blog, but the film was just such a fantastic bit of story-telling that it evoked all of the feelings of why I love to write. It also didn't hurt that it included my trinity of favorite things ever: a flawed protagonist (very flawed), an evil and heartless mega-corporation, and aliens. Add in to the mix not-so-subtle allegory for social injustices from our recent past, and you've got a story that stuck with me for days. Whether we make movies or write books, isn't that what all story-tellers want? To be relevant and affect our audience with our creative vision?

It also reminded me of the type of science fiction that I love the best The stories that explore all sorts of ethical, political, and social issues of the day under the guise of the far-flung future. Some of the writing that affected me most were from the boxful of oldschool sci-fi magazines a friend had given me. These were gems from the late 60s and 70s that mirrored the concerns of the era. I know that pretty much all other genres don't skip on the social commentary, but there's just something about classic sci-fi that can consistantly deliver messages and get away with it. Maybe that's just the rebellious teen aspect of my personality that just revels in trouble-making. Writing about a subjugated and mistreated alien populace and their tormentors can raise less ire and boycotting than stating outright the specific real-life counterparts and still convey the same message. As a reader, I think that it's less condescending when an author lets me come to a conclusion rather than beating me over the head with how I should interpret the message. And as a writer, I try not to tick of readers. It's just good hat.


1 comment:

  1. An excellent point. This is what I've always loved about classic science fiction. It was used really effectively, in my opinion, in Alien Nation as well.