Mike DeWolfe : Interests : Science Fiction

Sci-Fi? Science fiction fans turn their nose up at the expression "sci-fi". It denotes schlock and a shallow understanding of the genre. In truth, that regard for the term "sci-fi" just underscores a mindset, a disdain for the term comes from too little ear-medication or that the sad truth that most Science fiction fans must be getting slowly poisoned from the mold spores growing in their parent's basements.

I love sci-fi: the schlock, the camp, the high art form, the concept of imagining the future. I love the whole deal of it. The fans? Well, some of them I like, but some of them only deserve to stay on this planet to keep our convenience stores open and accidentally spawn new generations of pimply Mike-Stackpole-loving gits.

I'll tell ya where to go...

Cool stops on the web for people who share in my interests...

Bruce Sterling - Bruce Sterling is one of these great idea people. Some of his stories (like Swarm. Our Neural Chernobyl, Schismmatrix, and Heavy Weather) turned my concept of sci-fi on its side. His non-fiction work, the Hacker Crackdown, was genius. Some of his fiction rubs me the wrong way and when I'm done, I feel like asking "What the hell was that for?" Like him or loathe him. Give at some of his work a read.

John Byrne - I have really moved away from comics, but one man kept me interested for much longer than otherwise: John Byrne. A cocktail of patriotism (he lived much of his life in Canada) and genuine enjoyment has made John Byrne my favorite comic book creator. Alan Moore has taken the medium and made it grow beyond four colors and Frank Miller made a whole noir sub-genre out of comics. But John Byrne drew inside of the lines. He gave us comics that were filled with super powered characters leaping around in tights, but they were still entertaining.

  • John Byrne Fan Site - This site is a little out of date, but it's a great resource for the John Byrne fanatic.

Orson Scott Card - He turns out great writing, but his socio-political views are repugnant. While his Ender's Game series did start to rot a little by the "Children of the Mind" his other works (e.g. Pastwatch) make for interesting and easy read.

  • Hat Rack - The official site of Orson Scott Card does not get a link here. If you want to read his fiction, I encourage you to borrow a copy from a friend or the public library.

Star Wars - Star Wars changed my life. Before that fateful day in that darkened theatre, sci-fi to me was UFOs, Star Trek and Logan's Run (I was eight-- give me a break). For me sci-fi was a dismal dystopia of cautionary tales of people turning into monsters or surviving a world decimated by nuclear weapons. Star Wars escaped that problem by being set in a galaxy far far away and I couldn't have been happier. The subsequent films haven't equaled the original in its breakthrough but the magic is still there.

Star Trek - Star Trek is the McDonald's of TV Series. For the last 35 years, it has been somewhere on the dial in one form or another. The adventures are pap. The acting is dubious. The science on the show is about the worst ever shown (if Matlock had forensics like Star Trek has physics, Andy Griffith would be able to solve his mysteries every episode when a corpse sat bold upright and gave away its killer). Nevertheless, it's fun to watch. The current incarnation is Enterprise. It's trying to rewrite the Trek history a little. With a sexy leading cast and the willing to blast the bad guys, it may go down in sci-fi history as the most popular of the series. Don't grab your pointy ears in dismay-- the original Trek did spawn the franchise, but it was about as popular in the sixties as the draft board.

Babylon 5 - This is a cool series that tried to be hard sci-fi (e.g. starfighters turning on their gyroscopic centers to blast pursuers; ships need a spinning section to maintain gravity). The first season was mediocre, the last season was dubious, but seasons 2, 3 and 4 rocked. It was one of the first sci-fi series to be heavily pushed on the Internet by comparison to the other media. The series itself was dark and sarcastic. The creator, J. Michael Stracynski, wove a subversive message into his five year arc. The message: don't trust governments.

  • The Lurkers Guide. One of the best support sites I have ever seen. If I were teaching a course on website organization, I would cite this site as the benchmark. (with that said, the site may be down. Midwinter.com should maybe renamed Nuclear Mid-Winter).

My other Sci-Fi topics.

My other, other Sci-Fi links.

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