Monday, March 29, 2010

My SF Blind Spots

Speculative fiction portal io9 is asking readers "what's your sci-fi blindspot?" That is, which works in the genre have escaped your attention?

Despite an unhealthy obsession with popular culture, I have quite a few SF blind spots. Here's a short list of well-known, popular, influential or simply notorious genre works I have yet to peruse:

Television
Farscape
Stargate (and spinoffs)
Alias
21st century Dr. Who
Torchwood
The Tripods
Quatermass (original television series; I've seen most of the movies)
Supernatural
Dark Shadows
Jeremiah
The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne
Dead Like Me
Pushing Daisies
Desperate Housewives
Six Feet Under
Medium

Film
Quatermass IV
Day of the Triffidds
Deluge
Aelita
Mighty Joe Young
Donovan's Brain
On the Beach (I've read the book, though)
Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine
Astro-Zombies
Beware! The Blob (I have seen the first Blob movie)
Who? (I've read the book)
Phase IV
The Brood
Altered States
Heartbeeps
Looker
Outland
Inseminoid
Zapped!
Brainstorm
The Brother from Another Planet
Star Crystal
*batteries not included
Short Circuit 2
Ghostbusters 2
My Stepmother is an Alien
Deepstar Six (I did see the similarly-themed Leviathan that year, though)
Robocop 3
Mom and Dad Save the World
Freejack
Waterworld
The Arrival and The Arrival 2
Jurassic Park 3
The Faculty
Six-String Samurai
eXistenZ

Literature
The Hobbit
The Lord of the Rings
Gravity's Rainbow
A Case of Conscience
Starship Troopers
Most of the works of C.J. Cherryh
Most of the works of Philip K. Dick
Most of the works of William Gibson
Most of the works of H. Beam Piper
Most of the works of Connie Willis
Most of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold
Most of the works of Ursula K. LeGuin
Most of the works of Octavia Butler
Anything by China Mieville

That's a lot of gaps to fill. The list of mainstream popular culture (and so-called "high" culture) I have yet to examine is even longer.

Now I know how Burgess Meredith felt in "Time Enough at Last." We're simply here for too short a season to keep up with everything.

12 comments:

Jeffiri said...

You forgot "Battlefield Earth: A Saga Of The Year 3000" (2000). Consider it a blind spot in your blind spot.

It's just like "Heartbeeps", except more Barbarino, less Latka.

"Heartbeeps"...

...man, oh, man...

Earl J. Woods said...

You're right, I did forget Battlefield Earth. I haven't seen it.

ZeeBride said...

Desperate Housewives is a science fiction series?

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't consider Six Feet Under Sci-fi, either.

Earl J. Woods said...

I'm told that Desperate Housewives, at least in the beginning, had some fantasy elements, which I include under the broader speculative fiction umbrella.

Earl J. Woods said...

Ditto for Six Feet Under.

Stephen Fitzpatrick said...

How is Harry Potter coming along?

Earl J. Woods said...

I got stalled with Harry - not because I didn't enjoy the first book, but because of other distractions. I'll probably sit down and read at least one or two more this weekend.

Sean Woods said...

I was very surprised to find these on your haven't seen/read list:

-Altered States
-Most of the works of Ursula K. LeGuin

rufus.baseball said...

Earl, curious on Lord of the Rings. Just not your mug of "proper 1420" ale?

Kirstin said...

You don't know me, but I saw your Liberal tweets and ended up here.

When I'd seen that you hadn't read Starship Troopers, I have to tell you that it's essential to understanding the genre. Have you read the answer to ST, Haldeman's The Forever War?

And have you ever been to any of the Alberta science fiction conventions? While I don't know you online, maybe I know you in RL.

Earl J. Woods said...

Rufus: I started to read Lord of the Rings when I was 8 or 9, but couldn't get past the first third of the book or so. The books are definitely on my list; I just haven't gotten to them yet.

Kirstin: I've read a bunch of Heinlein's stuff, but Stranger in a Strange Land and The Number of the Beast kind of soured me on his works. That being said, I like some of his short stories and The Puppet Masters, so I'll get to Troopers eventually. I'm very familiar with The Forever War; I'm a big Haldeman fan and I've read most of his stuff.

I've been to a couple of Alberta conventions in the deep, dark past - I went to one in Edmonton that had Mark Lenard as a guest, and I went to three or four of the Con-Versions held in Calgary. The last one may have been Con-Version VI or VII...back in the 90s, anyway. It's possible we may have met up at some point!

Sorry to both of you for the delayed response; I hadn't noticed this post was still getting comments.