Sunday, June 26, 2011

Technology in sci-fi

Yesterday, I convinced the wife to buy and watch the movie G.I. Joe. Ugh. I thought about buying it when it first came out, but waited until I could get it for under $10. It wasn't worth the gas it took to get to the store.

I like clever technology in sci-fi movies, but that movie was nothing but one gadget after another. One is similar to something I use in my WIP. The writers of G.I. Joe must read Scientific American same as me, because their move came out about 8 months after the article that had the technology in it did. That's where I got mine from. My use is different, so I'm not worried about the similarity. Mine's far more subtle.

This brazen overbearing assault of technological gizmos and video game action in movies is silly. If someone wants the experience of zipping through scene after scene, shooting attackers while shot at, they can simply buy a video game. There are plenty out there sure to please. Movies with nothing but, and I believe books with nothing but, will invariably flop. Because the director decides what to shoot and where to hide. The audience that wants that kind of action, is the type that wants to be doing the shooting. They want to shoot the aliens off rooftops, or chase spaceships with their lasers blasting away. A movie should tell a story, not a video game. That applies tenfold to books. But I see them on the kindle boards, books that are techno-rich and story poor. I'd rather read a sci=fi story about a horse, than a read a video game about the most fantastic technological advancements.

Use technology with the utmost of discrimination. Unless it's I Robot in which the machine is humanized, The story needs to be about the people, not the machines.

p.s. Finished chapter 12 in about 2 days. Quite the contrast to 11. Chapter 13 should go fairly quickly, and then I hit the next monster.

p.p.s. I'm up to level 8 on the chess game, but it's kicking my ass so far.


  1. Doesn't sound like my sort of film, Fred BUT my husband used to work for the company that made GI Joes in the UK - called Action Man here. We got loads of them from the factory store for our son - recently sold them for a profit!!! The new ones are nowhere near as well made apparently. Yes - old is best - I'm sure of it!
    Congrats on a swift 12 - hope 13 is lucky ...

  2. Your blog posts are always so interesting!
    You managed to hit the GIJoe on the head, for me. I've read very little sci-fi, and it's always the characters that make the book or movie for me. I dont remember or care about blah blah to use a warp drive, but I do care that Data had his emotion chip removed by his evil 'brother' Lore...