Thursday, October 15, 2009

My experiences with Science Fiction

After reading the James Gunn book, "Reading Science Fiction," I found myself thinking about my experiences with science fiction in my life during the past 15 years. I will discuss my fascination with time travel in science fiction films and television, during 1994-98, and also what has happened since that time.

In 1994, when I was 10 years old, I started to watch fictional time travel films. I still do not know how I became interested in this particular sub-genre of SF, but it may have had to do with my love of ancient history that I was learning about on my own. The first film I ever watched that dealt specifically with time travel was "Back to the Future," and it was soon after that I started to watch more and more time travel films. I mostly watched them on videotapes either I had rented, or bought. Some of the names bring back memories: "Time Sliders" (a television show), "Time Bandits," "Bill and Ted," and "The Time Machine" (the 1960 film). The last film is the most memorable in my life, as when I first watched it in 1997, I couldn't believe what I had watched. Rod Taylor, the actor who played the time traveler, had a time machine with a big wheel at the rear, and travelled through time at lightning speed, from 1900 to 1966 (an atomic bomb destroys most of everything) and thousands of years into the future, all without leaving London. After watching this movie over and over again for about a year, I grew tired of the time travel films, and until about 2002, did not return to watching them at all.

In 2002, almost 5 years after watching "The Time Machine," a new film version of "The Time Machine" came out. I was so anxious to watch this one and compare it with the 1960 version. After I watched it, I was very disappointed. Some of the reasons for my disappointment was the time traveler did too much hopping around through time to save his girlfriend who would be killed anyway (you can't change time), and also, the moon being destroyed in 2037. This was an awful remake, and it wasn't for almost a year I watched the last time travel movie I have seen to date, "Clockstoppers." Although "Clockstoppers" wasn't technically a time travel movie, I found it neat that three teenagers were able to stop time with a wrist-watch. This film was on the same par as the 1960 Time Machine movie.

After 2003, I did not and still haven't watched any time travel films since that time. I agreed with one of the essay writers in the James Gunn book that time travel in television and films was a fad, and was soon exhausted. Maybe I became exhausted by "too much time travel" in science fiction television and films after a while.

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