Telepathic Alcoholics More Common In Books Than MoviesS

Why can't movie science fiction be as creative as the books? Brendan at Balancing Frogs just read a collection of 1950s science fiction novellas about ancient telepathic civilizations, crystalline alien explorers and super-advanced humans who despise their primitive Earth cousins. Each story has at least one loopy plot twist. Why can't the movies have that manic zeal? Says Brendan:

As a whole these stories are far more inventive than most science fiction you see on TV or at the movies nowadays. I'm not here to bash all SF film and TV... but it seems there's an inventiveness, a vitality, in written SF that you don't see as much in TV and movies.

Unfortunately, that wild creation is long gone from written science fiction as well, says classic SF author Norman Spinrad:

Norman Spinrad in the SFWA Forum sees SF writers as becoming more conservative as their audience decreases. They are writing tired space operas and tedious technophilic "hard SF," retro science fiction for the graying, fannish core readership, rather than trying to reach out to the rest of the world.

In other words, the same thing ails science fiction in both books and movies/TV: an obsessive audience of aging fans, who prefer lovingly described toys and rehashed science fantasy plots to anything new. The solution isn't a different medium, but a bigger and/or smarter audience. Image by Annahiltunen.


Written Science Fiction
[Balancing Frogs]
Reflections on science fiction, writing and the publishing business
[Twin Cities Daily Planet]