ABOVE: Old digital concept art for the Northern Kövizayar Mountains with green vegetation in winter.
Some of the biggest critics about anything that I have ever come across are those who criticize science fiction. They're so sarcastic. Just the mere mention of the term "sci-fi" is enough to get smirks on their faces, and contorted but slackened body postures. You can just about read their minds at that point. It's like they can't move beyond their narrow perceptions of high school or mature four-eyed geeks who find it tough to get dates, amusing mouth-breathers with blank stares who claim to have been abducted by space aliens, and pop culture addicts flocking to film and comic book conventions in poorly made costumes; spending crazy amounts of money to buy all kinds of memorabilia.
Other than the scornful, there are those who claim to "love" sci-fi but when you get down to it, they're hooked on the great special effects that they see on action/adventure television shows and movies. It's almost all they talk about.
In reality, SF is so much more than all of that. It is a narrative and genre of speculative fiction drawing imaginatively on scientific knowledge and conjecture in its plot, theme and setting. It is a very old means of escapism, inspiration for invention and social assessment.
A 2nd century Assyrian writer named Lucian is noted by historians as creating probably the first adventure to the moon and Venus; encountering extraterrestrial life and witnessing a war between worlds within his time. Written in Greek, he titled his intended satire, "True History".
Science fiction isn't even limited to robots, space aliens and adventures on worlds other than our own. Some SF have none of these things. George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" is a great example of that. The dystopian novel was first published in 1949, proposing what social and political conditions on Earth, or specifically Oceania; a reconstituted England, could be like if mankind allowed totalitarian regimes to dominate by the year 1984. By the time 1984 actually rolled around people remarked that although there were a number of misses, there were also a number of startling hits. Today in the 21st century, people have forgotten that Orwell's old book is actually a profound work of science fiction.
Sometimes SF isn't so much about the future as it is about recognizing where we've come from, may have come from or should have been. Time machines and space-time altering mental processes are typical premises that allow us to leap far into the past from either the future or even the present. Doing this gives us a chance to conceive solutions to real or proposed problems of the universe we live in.
You can tell the true SF lovers from those who aren't because they reach out with their minds to explore the reasons behind the literary, illustrated or animated concepts that have been created. They push the envelope and sometimes push society into a new direction by taking something so imagined and making it real.
There is hope yet for the SF critic and novice. If the critics open themselves up to imagination, they'll see opportunities and will criticize less because they will be more productive in their thinking. The novices will follow suit.
Dream bigger! Go farther!
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