Edgewise #1 – Sci-Fi and a scary Libertarian fascist authorMarch 26th, 2012 | Posted by in Columns and Essays
Another one of Dwayne’s classic essays-
EDGEWISE is my late, lamented (well, I miss the checks, anyway) Science Fiction and Fantasy column, hosted by the good folks at FantastiCon.com.
Edgewise #1 – Dwayne launches his sci-fi media column and confesses his affection for a scary Libertarian fascist author.
Welcome to the first installment of Edgewise, a regular column by yours truly, wherein I spout off profoundly about all things fantastic. Or spout off fantastically about all things profound. One things for sure: I’ll be spouting off. Our topic of discussion will be fantasy and science fiction in the media, including film, television, books and comics. Since I’m doing this on a web site, I suppose I’ll also comment on the bewildering mass of converging technologies that some folks call “new media.” So yes, the continuing adventures of Laura Croft will be addressed at some point, should I ever manage to get out of the practice room in her house. Or work the controller (Don’t give up hope; my ten-year-old nephew has promised to tutor me, in return for my arcane knowledge of long division. I have already learned how to hold the controller right side up. Stay tuned).
So who am I to be telling you what I think about Science Fiction? For one thing, I’m a fan. Ive been hooked since that day in second grade I discovered the “Heinlein shelf” of juvenile novels in my school and read them all “in order” (for some reason, these generally unrelated novels had numbers on the spine. I knew what I had to do). Even today I occasionally discover one of Heinlein’s creepy, right wing ideas, still lodged in my head, imprinted on my innocent young mind while I was only trying to find more stories about kids in space. Brrrr. But I’m okay now, a card-carrying member of the liberal media. You know about us, right? The internet is just crawling with us lefties. Anyway, shortly after my Heinlein gorge, I hit the motherlode. A friend of the family gave me a whole grocery bag full of science fiction paperbacks; Ace Doubles; novels and short story collections by Asimov, Clarke and Bradbury; A wonderful stack of Robert Sheckley; an anthology called DANGEROUS VISIONS, that we’ll come back to when I have more time; a bunch of adult Heinlein novels (including FARNAM’S FREEHOLD, a book so paranoid and racist that it would have driven me to join the Black Panther Party in retaliation, if they’d taken eight-year-olds); Hal Clement’s A MISSION OF GRAVITY; “Doc” Smith’s purple cosmic sagas; and a lot of André Norton. Can’t win ‘em all. I began a love affair with written Science Fiction that lasted until STAR WARS redefined the genre into stuff that I’ll look at in a movie theatre but certainly won’t waste my time reading.
Speaking of crap I enjoy looking at, I haven’t yet touched on the TV and film of my youth, a dark age so primitive that science fiction fans watched the Six Million Dollar Man on TV because that’s all there was! Unfortunately, I’m running long, so that’ll have to wait until next time. Also next time, I’ll talk about some stuff that came out after you were born, good stuff like BUFFY and BABYLON 5 and stuff I can’t believe they didn’t cancel already, like NIGHTMAN.
Dwayne McDuffie is a founder of Milestone Media and has written more comic books than you’ve read, unless you’re something of a social misfit. If so, that’s okay, he loves you anyway. But go outside, get some sun, meet some people. You’ll be glad you did.