Something new is always happening in the world of science fiction. Whether it be at the movies, in books, or even in the personal lives of the great minds that are behind the creation of some of Hollywood’s biggest movies, like ID4, Alien, and Jurassic Park or a great work of fiction, such as The Road, Dune, and The Stand, there is always news to report. This year the news, like most years, was mixed with both good and bad. Good in the respect that Hollywood seemed to have at least made a start in coming out of it’s slump. Even though the blockbusters this year were in large part derived from classic works that had been done and now re-down (like the past few years) – such as Sherlock Holmes, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, G.I. Joe, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – we did see, in my opinion, a substantially higher amount of creativity and imagination, not to mention time, being put into the story lines. This should give us all hope for the purely fresh movies that came out, such as Avatar, District 9, and 2012.
That was the good.
The bad news, as it always does, come in the form of those that we had to say goodbye too, such as Michael Crichton and Phillip José Farmer two authors that I viewed as larger contributors to the way in how the genre of science fiction has taken shape and given many inspiration and a larger-then-life persona to look up to, in terms of being an aspiring writer.
The death of Michael Crichton hit me the hardest as he was an author that I discovered while in high school, a time when I was most inpresionable. The first book I read of his was Jurrasic Park, and after that I read book after book of his until I had read almost everything he had done. The Lost World was the only book that I have ever waited in line for on the day of its release just so I could be one of the first to not only get the book but read it.
Phillip José Farmer I discover later in life, after the Sci Fi (now SyFy) Channel made the first of presumeable many movies based on his Riverworld universe. But I was still struck just as hard and have since actively seeked out any works of his to add to my reading list.
Looking forward it is hard to say what the next year will hold. Will Hollywood continue it’s trend of putting out better material? Tron2 is scheduled for release, and it remains to be seen if the money they have spent on it will result in a movie worth going to see. It would appear, however, that Hollywood will continue on it’s current path of remakes. For example, next year The Crazies, Alice in Wonderland, Wolfman, Clash of the Titans, Shrek Forever After, The A-Team, Karate Kid, Footloose, Toy Story 3, Iron Man 2. . . The list just goes on and on.
As I mentioned a few months back, Michael Crichton‘s Pirate Latitudes has been picked up by Steven Spielberg to be made into a movie, and anything by Crichton (again, my opinion) must be good. But I think we might have to wait until 2011 for this one. Until then I think we’ll just have to settle for the old dog with the same old tricks.
As for books, the future looks much more promising with titles being released by such authors as Larry Niven, Harry Turtledove, Poul Anderson, Ben Bova, David Drake, Joe Haldeman, Kim Stanley Robinson and Robert J. Sawyer.