The Ubiqiutous Enigma That Is Science Fiction
Essay, Research Paper
“We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our
lives”. This line taken from Plan 9 From Outer Space is just one of many examples of how the future and the
unknown, that are displayed in science fiction, have had such an impact on the daily lives of societies
productive members. There is a direct correlation between life and the art that is science fiction literature.
Science fiction has predicted many of the astounding technological advancements we today take
for granted. The rocket was predicted in early science fiction films, such as Man to the Moon. Films like
The Day the Earth Stood Still predicted space travel and beings from other worlds. The administration and
usefullness of computers was demonstrated in 2001: A Space Odessey. H.G. Wells describes in great detail
(about fifty years before his time) the fax machine and telephone. Videophones were proven to be usefull in
early sci-fi classics such as THX 1138 and Forbidden Planet.
Our culture and society is influenced by science fiction literature as well. The re-release of Star
Wars produced mass merchandising and it was also voted number one science fiction film of all time.
Science fiction cult films have found new generations of fans they did not have before. For example, The
Rocky Horror Picture Show has been running midnight showings for the past twenty years. Fans dress up
as their favorite characters and shout obscure and perverted dialogue at a movie screen. Edward D. Wood
Jr. was once voted worst director of all time for such films as Plan 9 From Outer Space and Glen or Glenda .
Tim Burton did a documentary film on Ed Wood that has brought his quirky visions to new light. Eighties
rock band The Misfits use old science fiction films as the basis for all of their songs. Music and movies are
a big part of our society which was highly influenced by science fiction.
Science Fiction literature also reflects the values that people have in our society. Fear was
exemplified in films like Plan 9 From Outer Space. Aliens were powerful enough to reserect the dead and
create a nuclear bomb in order to save earth from itself. Their ultimate goal was of global domination.
During the cold war fear was shown through the viscious aliens in This Island Earth, who were going to kill
our species. Today we have cute and friendly visitors from far off galaxies like E.T. There were also hopes
for the future in early science fiction films. People were shown walking on the moon and colonizing other
planets. This in turn aspired us to explore our own soloar system.
It has been witnessed throughout time that life does indeed imitate art. This century alone has had
many technological advancements that have made their way via science fiction literature. Many other
advancements have been predicted in recent science fictions films. In Strange Days, memory storage
devices and in The Fifth Element, there were flying cars. Will these technologies make their way into our
daily rotation? Who knows what the future may bring. “And remember, future events such as these will
effect you in the future”.