Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Technology So Advanced It’s Magic

NASA’s recent mission to the red planet got me thinking about technology. Remember those fifties Tex Avery cartoons about the future? “Car of Tomorrow,” “House of Tomorrow,” etc.

I actually have to credit those shorts with my lifelong interest in science fiction. As each new invention splashed across the small screen every Saturday morning, a sense of wonder washed through me from head to toe. I remember thinking that those scenarios were really going to happen. (Er, okay, I still do). Despite the groan-inducing humor, I think those shorts tapped into something we all would love to see happen in our lifetime.

Check out “Five Sci-Fi Scenarios That Will Come True” (thanks to SF Signal for the link).

But technology is more than just the sum of its parts, right? It’s groundbreaking. It’s amazing. It’s sexy (especially attached to a six-foot plus Adonis with ripped abs, rock hard buttocks, and…well, you get the picture!).

To be equitable, let me amend that last sentence to read “…especially attached to a ravishing beauty with flowing hair, bodacious breasts, and legs that go on forever....

There’s technology that expands our horizons, makes life easier, or renders day to day survival infinitely more dangerous. Certainly, technology can be overwhelming and incomprehensible. There’s often an underlying fear that it will conquer our very humanity. Artists, filmmakers, and writers process these issues in the art they create.

Sometimes, especially in works of science fiction, the science and technology are inaccessible to readers without a scientific background. But that doesn’t make the technological discoveries and innovative ideas any less wonderful. At the worst, some of us just won’t be able to travel to those worlds. But never fear—there are others.

(Kind of like in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK when Yoda announced “There is another!” I know it made me want to be a Jedi Knight).

Anyway, that’s why I think speculative romance is such a great addition to genre fiction. There’s a range of stories in books and film and television whether you like your science hearty and complicated or so accessible you’d understand it in your sleep. Plus, a romance unfolds. Hello! What’s not to love?

Now, I’m turning the discussion over to you. What do you consider the most interesting/unusual/sexiest technology you’ve read about/seen in a film/tv show? (My vote: those nifty sunglasses from THEY LIVE. Do they offer UV protection as well, I wonder?)

Joyfully yours,