Comments: No Phones, No Pool, No Pets

That's one reason why I prefer a little Fantasy with my SF (and my one fiction subscription is, indeed, to Fantasy and Science Fiction) and I like my SF short so that it doesn't have to work out all the implications of every self-destructive tendency we've discovered in ourselves.

I like the Golden Age stuff (Kuttner and Moore rock like nobody else), but I grew up on the Silver Age stuff (Heinlein straddles the line; Niven, Ellison), discovering the potential for complexity and unintended consequences, the drama of dystopia as well as utopia. That's where the "speculative" part gets interesting, for me.

Posted by Jonathan Dresner at July 9, 2004 03:36 AM

p.s. There's an essay to be written contrasting Asimov's actual Robot stories with the silly Conspiracy Theory knockoff they've produce for our summer entertainment. I might get to it, but you're welcome to try, too.

Posted by Jonathan Dresner at July 9, 2004 03:38 AM

I grew up on the "Silver Age" fiction as well, and we seem to have much the same taste in authors. :)

I discovered the Golden Age work later and was entranced by the different approach the entire era took toward 'science fiction.' I enjoy re-reading the best of that fiction today (although Campbell's insistance on The Ultimate Triumphant Nobility of Humanity can be almost . . . almost annoying in this more cynical age).

P.S. I hadn't actually planned to see Conspiracy Theory, but I look forward to your review. :)

Posted by Anne at July 9, 2004 08:29 AM

Sorry, I wasn't clear. Conspiracy Theory is an interesting film; though I'm not much of a Mel Gibson fan these days, that remains a signature performance, in which his twitchyness becomes his character. Patrick Stewart as menacingly banal bad guy is great, though.

I, Robot is, judging by the trailers, a pitiful melange of derivative components: Matrix prequel for "thriller" plot; Men in Black and Enemy of the State for Will Smith's performances; a little theory from Asimov (by way of Philip Dick/Blade Runner and William Gibson, of course), and ten-year old CGI technology. I'm unlikely to waste money on it, but I'll read enough about it to contrast it with the great puzzlers Asimov gave us.

Posted by Jonathan Dresner at July 9, 2004 11:49 PM

Ahhh...I see what you mean, Jonathan. For the record, after having seeing previews for I, Robot I can safely say that there's no conceivable way I'd waste money or time on it.

Posted by Anne at July 15, 2004 11:59 AM