January 25, 2015

POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY: Can Science Fiction Art Have Any Influence On the Real Future?

http://ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00IXGU7XI&Format=_SL250_&ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=chrisfnet-21 http://application.denofgeek.com/images/m/21st-Century-Foss.jpg

Using the panel discussions of the most recent World Science Fiction Convention in London this past August, I will jump off, jump on, rail against, and shamelessly agree with the BRIEF DESCRIPTION given in the pdf copy of the Program Guide. The link is provided below…

“Art Panel Chris Foss - Art and Influence

Chris Foss’s battle-weary spacecraft, dramatic alien landscapes and crumbling brutalist architecture irrevocably changed the aesthetic of science fiction art and cinema. Hear how our Guest of Honour’s work affected the field, and the work of a generation of artists.”

Can science fiction ART have any influence on the “real” future?


It’s obvious when you look at something like these two pictures. The first was artistic license that really had no basis in fact but made plot easier that became profound reality forty years later:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2023/2331942024_91f14ed3a3_m.jpg http://blog.inner-active.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Siri-promo-video-Woman-asks-for-weather.jpeg

The most profound SF art for me came from reading ANALOG SCIENCE FICTION AND FACT. The covers from the 1970s when I started reading the magazine to the present served to inspire me into science.

No – I’m not a “scientist”, I am that breed of scientists that teaches others on their way to greatness. Truth be told, I did in fact, have a hand in educating a thirteen-year-old young lady who eventually went to CalTech and later worked on the Large Hadron Collider. Another several came through my science classes and went on to med school. Of COURSE I don’t take “credit” for their success. But I was a brief stopping point on their journey.

I believe art in science fiction serves to inspire people to careers in the sciences. While I can’t point to Kelly Freas, John Shoenherr, or Janet Aulisio and say that “I am the person I am today because of their art”, I can say without hesitation that the following three covers STILL set my heart to pounding:



The first image made me realize that space travel should be for anyone, no matter how backward they are perceived.

The second brought home a belief rarely acknowledged in the SF world – our greatest fear about meeting intelligent alien life is that we won’t be anything to them, worth as much attention as you pay to the cows of Montana when you eat at McDonalds. Certainly not a threat, in fact, their actions are incomprehensible because we believe that aliens are responding to us and their driving factor is something beyond us.

The third echoed the first – space travel and colonization is for anyone. China should be as free to conquer space as the US. Lesotho should have that freedom as well. What do you think the US, Russia, China, Europe, India, and all the others (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_government_space_agencies) would do if AfriSpace managed to get itself into space and land on Mars? What kind of response would there be say, if SpaceX  responded positively to a clandestine offer to relocate to... (http://pages.au.int/sites/default/files/CITMC-4%20Working%20Document-Eng-Final-29082012-MY.pdf)

Science fiction art has inspired me – how about you?

Program Book: http://www.loncon3.org/documents/ReadMe_LR.pd
Images: http://ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00IXGU7XI&Format=_SL250_&ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=chrisfnet-21, http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/515vgBBr0KL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg, https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/66/36/27/6636276bdeea67b54e7f594f9d874feb.jpg, http://www.sfcovers.net/Magazines/ASF/ASF_0732.jpg

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