Nowadays, it’d be more interesting to me to compare the fan experience to religious culture. Some trekkies truly went off the deep end, as some sf/f/SCA people still do now.
That may be true, Josh, but it has no relevance to what I’m talking about. Simply put, there was a REASON that Star Trek appealed to so many people, over and above just being a nice space opera with phasers, warp drives and transporters (you can find that sort of thing anywhere, as I tried to point out with my Star Wars and Battlestar references). For me personally, the big thing I like most about Star Trek is that it posits a Federation culture where I would want to live! Paramount can make whatever movie they want, but if that culture is missing, then it won’t be Star Trek to me. That’s all I’m sayinig.
Well maybe your analysis of Star Trek isn’t deep enough.
I consider comparing Star Wars to Star Trek to be an insult to all of science fiction. Star Wars is just a hands breadth above Harry Potter. I watched the pilot of the new Battlestar Gallictac and haven’t watched a single episode since then. I kind of doubt that you know what I mean by good SCIENCE FICTION. Worthwhile SF has to have significant intellectual depth and involve technology in a meaningful way and show its effects on society. The whole idea from BG that intelligent machines would want to wipe out the human race when they have FTL drive giving them access to most of the galaxy is TOTALLY ABSURD. It is nothing but a shallow plot device to create conflict and justify a series.
Three Federation crews stuck in the Mirrorverse could be just as Trekish as Janeway in the Delta quadrant but it would be sufficiently far outside the normal Trek canon that it could escape the boring repetitive plots. That is what DS9 did. Voyager and Enterprise were somewhat of a step backwards but there were worthwhile episodes in both of them.
I found this by Isaac Assimov from before Star Trek.
November 19, 1961
Fact Catches Up With Fiction
By ISAAC ASIMOV
Twenty-five years ago, space flight was virtually the exclusive property of a small group of young men, most of them in their teens, who wrote and read science fiction. The outside world was largely unaware that these men, or science fiction, or even the concept of space flight, existed. Among those who did know of this field of literary endeavor, reaction varied from amused tolerance to annoyed contempt. “Escapism,” they said.
Yes, it was escapism. It was escape from the problems of the Nineteen Thirties, the threat of fascism and of war, the thought of what aerial bombardment might do to cities. But it was escape into the harder world of the Nineteen Sixties. The young authors wrote—and a few people read— of the danger of nuclear warfare and of the struggle to achieve space flight. If the authors were escaping from one horrid reality, they were doing so by facing future hazard without blinkers. That is not classical escapism. It might even be called foresight.
Now the world has entered the age into which science-fiction authors “escaped” a generation ago. The front pages of the newspapers read like some of the highly imaginative stories of the Thirties. The President of the United States can call for concerted effort to place a man on the moon and be greeted with a soberly enthusiastic response.
But science fiction suffers a malady no other branch of literature does. Each year sees possible plots destroyed.
It may ask you to register with the NYT to see all of it.
We are currently living in a sci-fi society and to a far greater extent than in 1961 the technology has come down to the level of confronting the average person. I started reading science fiction when I was 9. I truly can’t even imagine my reaction if someone could have given me an ASUS Eee 900 when I was 9. But I tried searching for a website explaining that a generator would get harder to turn as electric power was drawn from it and gave up after looking at 30 sites and referred the person to page 154 of a book I have. That book is downloadable but I doubt that it is legal. The tech enables us to alter the distribution of knowledge of the world but this is a potential threat to the economics of our educational system. We could have created a national recommended reading list decades ago but when have you ever heard anyone suggest such a thing? Sci-fi is about what people may do with technology and the stupid conflicts that get in the way of what we are capable of. How do we start creating the Federation instead of just watching it on Star Trek?
It has occurred to me on many occasions since the original Mirror, Mirror episode in TOS that this world is so screwed up that we are in the Mirror Universe. My avatar is no accident. I was one of those, no doubt, thousands of kids that got nick named Mr. Spock in high school.