Monday, February 2, 2009

Mysterious Monday: A mystery explained

First, let me just explain about last week's MIA Mysterious Monday. It appears that the post that was scheduled to be published on Monday, February 26 has disappeared...mysteriously. I haven't yet figured it out; perhaps I never will.

So in light of that oddness, today's post will be a slight diversion from the usual format. Instead of presenting a picture, or sound, or situation that I find mysterious, I'm going to explain a mystery.

For as long as I can remember, I've been an avid reader. When I was young, I preferred to read rather than go outside and play (which caused my parents no small amount of anxiety). I read everything, from classics to histories, biographies to fantasy. But far and away my favorite genre has always been science fiction.

This has put me in rather unusual company. Most of the people I've known who are fans of science fiction have been guys; in my experience (and I'm not entirely sure why this is), men seem drawn to it more so than women. Of course, this was before the recent renaissance in science fiction television. Back in the days before Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG-1, or Andromeda, science fiction fans mainly got their fix from reruns of the original Star Trek television show, from the occasional Star Trek movie, or from books. So it's possible that these days, sci fi fandom is a more heterogenous group.

However, I still get some surprise when I tell people I'm a science fiction fan. I haven't yet had to explain why I enjoy the genre so much; recently I realized that I'm not sure what I would say if I did. So I thought I'd explore that here, today.

One of the things that most attracts me to science fiction is the speculative nature of it. I won't say that in science fiction stories, "anything is possible", because even within the hypothetical universes created by these stories, certain rules must be followed (I'm partial to those put forth by Robert Heinlein). But the expanse of what is possible is so much broader within science fiction.

Something else that has always fascinated me about science fiction has been, frankly, the science aspect of it. Some of the most amazing science discoveries of this and the last centuries actually saw their first light of day in science fiction - inventions such as personal computers, nanotechnology, robotics, the list goes on. I've never been a huge follower of science and technology, though I do try to keep up with the latest discoveries and inventions. But for some reason, the science of the novels I read intrigues me the way science in the "real world" never has.

So there you have it. Another mystery solved; next week we'll return to our regular format of presenting mysteries that need solving.

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