Friday, December 01, 2006

Earth or Bust

Are UFOs really graduate students from the future, researching their past?

Hell if I know! But it does bring up an interesting possibility. Make that an interesting set of possibilities, with infinite outcomes and mind-blowing disillusionments. Mind blowing!

This may sound like a Blogger profile question or the headline to a National Enquirer article, but it's actually the promo line on a full-color new novel advertisement I received at the bookstore today.

This, my friends, is the kind of thing that gives the Sci-Fi genre a bad name. I'm told by many that science fiction novels can be interesting, can be good, but I just can't put my preconceived notions aside long enough to pick one up. I just know that the minute I read about a character with a name like Zorfax or a place like Mypos (oh wait, that was Balki's home island in "Perfect Strangers") I'll be turned off to the point of chucking the book across the room.

People have told me that this instinct speaks of my lack of imagination or appreciation for creativity. Perhaps. But I've always felt that the most interesting stories are the true ones, or the very plausible ones at least. I love movies and novels based on real-life events, which is probably why I love the "fourth genre"--creative non-fiction--encompassing interviews, personal essays, auto/biographies, etc. It's also probably why I blog.

My honey and I once watched a movie that I can't remember the name of, in which a couple gets lost at sea after scuba diving. They have some interesting conversations, a little bit of argument, and in the end they're both gobbled up by sharks! For some reason, I had been under the impression that the movie was based on a true story, but even if it was, the entire movie was hypothetical because nobody survived to tell of those interactions between the couple.

In a way, it was a creative imagining of the storyteller, but I just felt ripped off. I spent two hours putting up with an annoying couple, only to have them disappear in the end, engendering absolutely no emotional reaction on my part. I'm not saying I only like true stories, but I don't like so-called true stories that are really all fiction. I'm not sure that movie was based on a true story, though.

I guess I'm a little given to life-affirming stories, even if (maybe even especially if) they involve much pain and trial. I just need a little something to hang onto.

But this is away from my original point, which is that I don't care about the UFO graduate student plot line or any other plot line involving outer space, time travel (ok, "Back to the Future" caught my interest at the time), or names that sound like prescription drugs.

David Letterman once had a top ten list titled something like "Top Ten Ways to Get Kicked Out of the Library." One of the ways was to sweep all the books in the Science Fiction section off the shelves, shouting, "Nothing but Earthling lies!!!"

I loved that one.


Wendy said...

Scifi does have a bad rap. But I will confess that Scifi movies can be highly entertaining. I mean, even the evil boss from the Devil Wears Prada can't match the sick power of the Predator.
Monkalicious, Can I link to your blog? I love it.

Kisa said...

Aww shucks, Wendy. I would be very flattered if you linked to my blog, so sure! By the way, you PROMISED your blog you'd be more attentive. What gives? Like I can talk. Hope you're having fun, whatever you're up to.

micki said...

Hi Kisa!
Good post about our possible "post graduate visitors". I've always been ambivalent about this subject, desiring to believe that if "they" bothered to visit, they'd probably be very low profile, "blending in" and not wanting to "disturb" the savage earth beasties (us). Who knows? Maybe many of us have met an alien or two and not realized it.
P.S. I am also a fan of the Late Nusrat Fatah Ali Khan...Beautiful singing! I think his nephew is doing music as well.