Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Klingons On The Starboard Bow

Do any of you love Star Trek the way I do?

Star Trek: The Next Generation

People are typically surprised to find out that I embraced Science Fiction all by myself at an early age;
I wasn't influenced by geeky older brothers or nerdy male friends.
Of course, I later CHOSE friends who also loved similar things!

Science Fiction isn't just for math-y, computer-y people.  What I loved studying most was foreign-languages, but I DID get an A in Physics (in high school), and I really liked it.  Physics was about objects in motion and light bouncing off things and I thought it was useful and interesting and mysterious (why does light behave that way?!)  

My favorite book at age 8 was "A Wrinkle In Time," by Madeleine L'Engle, which is about the tesseract (folding time and space so that we can move through it faster).  I also loved Louise Lawrence's young adult fiction books about space travel and possible future disasters on Earth (they are not easy to find anymore - and they are less happy).  I still prefer books that have a little bit of the unexpected in them, though I love good escapist girly fiction, too.

Around the age of 12, I discovered Public Television and started staying up extra late on Saturdays to watch the old Doctor Who (much better, in my opinion) from 10 PM -12 AM Saturdays on PBS Channel 2 in the
Twin Cities.

I know I am almost the only one to say this, but
Colin Baker is my favorite Doctor

In college, I discovered "Star Trek: The Next Generation" because I had a big crush on a young man who watched it every night with his roommate.  (I married that man!)  
Before I became a crazy Star Trek fan, I recognized LeVar Burton (Geordie LaForge in "The Next Generation") from "Reading Rainbow" and thought the VISOR over his eyes was weird and hokey, so I resisted watching the show altogether.  I now love the VISOR.

In college, I grew to love "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and "Star Trek: Voyager," though it wasn't until recently that I fell truly and madly in love with "Voyager".  I also got involved with "Babylon 5," but I didn't get to see as much of that as I would have liked . . . and Netflix doesn't stream it anymore!  Grrrr.

Babylon 5

One of the reasons I love "Voyager" more than ever is the magnificent captain of the Starship Voyager, Katherine Janeway (cue angelic singing and fancy back-lighting!)
She is a moral leader who truly cares about the people who serve with her.  She's also really smart and pretty and persistent.  I pick up leadership hints every time I watch an episode.

One of the reasons I love Science Fiction is that we can explore issues that are universal to humankind, but that we would otherwise have no format for discussing.  For example, we can talk about hate by showing it between species against whom we have no inherent biases.  Additionally, with a different reality (transporters to instantly move people from place to place, replicators that can reproduce almost anything, ships that can go almost the speed of light, many different sorts of beings, holodecks that create holographic environments and creatures), creativity and plot lines can be complex and thought-provoking in a way "the real world" never can be.  Also, science fiction is science-y!  There are lists of inventions that have imitated Star Trek gadgets.  So this stuff is great for many reasons!

And I was thinking the other day about a song that the radio station used to play once in a while when I was a teenager.  It was a spoof of the original "Star Trek," and the song itself was really catchy (I remembered some of the words and the tune 25 years later!)  I asked Greg if he remembered it, and almost before I could finish singing the bit I remembered, he had pulled this up on YouTube (all your favorite characters are represented!):

It made my day!

What are your favorite Science Fiction books/shows/movies?

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