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Speaking of sci-fi culture . . .


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#1 gsmonks

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 03:06 AM

Not since the 1960s has anyone captured the chilling angst of outer space. The two that stand out in my mind are the writer Ray Bradbury and the classical composer Karl-Birger Blomdahl.

Listen to this excerpt from Blomdahl's Aniara (1959), literally a space-opera, that captures what modern sci-fi has failed to do (watch from 38:50- this link doesn't tee up like it's supposed to):


Edited by gsmonks, 13 September 2017 - 03:39 AM.

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#2 G-man

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:32 AM

Hmmm ... in fairness, though, most SF generally would ignore the central concept of this opera.

Namely, space is big, mind-numbingly big ... and it would take forever (or a very, very, VERY long time) to get anywhere, and there is nowhere for the crew to go to "get away from it all," they are stuck in that tin-can along with everyone else with nothing to do with their supplies running out and no chance to resupply or be rescued.

Then also, much of the “serious” SF from this period could be characterized as meditations on what life in space would be like.  Something, that was nominally addressed by the televised voyages to the moon, which then removed much of the romance/mystery out of space flight.

Hardly the recipe for a rousing space adventure.

Nowadays, I don’t think there’s much of an audience for such cerebral fare, with most SF fans being content with the notion of spaceflight = a long car trip and is something to be glossed over for the exciting parts of the tale where things go zip and boom, with lots of pretty lights.

/s/

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Edited by G-man, 13 September 2017 - 09:40 AM.

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#3 gsmonks

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 05:51 PM

That in itself is most worrisome. The modern human is literally brain-dead compared to the intellectual fare available up until the early 1960's. Many writers up until the 60's were at the crest of an intellectual curve that was exciting in itself.

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#4 G-man

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 06:46 PM

But then we get such things like Mission to Europa and The Martian and even Interstellar which harken back to such SF, so it's still being produced and favorably received.  It's just that such gems are being buried by the big budget dross that floods the cinema.

/s/

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Edited by G-man, 13 September 2017 - 06:48 PM.

Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, so that all may profit by it.
Let me think of the right and lend my assistance to all who may need it, with no regard for anything but justice.
Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.
Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens, and my associates in everything I say and do.
Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.
-- Doc Savage

Few people want to be moderated, most people see the need for everyone else to be moderated. -- Orpheus

#5 gsmonks

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 01:28 AM

Heh- yuck, yuck, and yuck.

The Martian was so factually brain-dead that I couldn't watch it. It was also so boring I couldn't get interested in it.

Some of the moon soil was used to see if plants could grow in it, back in the 70's. Turned out the soil was rich in plant-friendly nutrients. The plants thrived, no poo required. The makers of The Martian are probably too young to know that, but they should have done their homework.

If Interstellar had had a plot that didn't come across as though it were written by a 10th-grader, it would have been . . . interesting.
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