Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Ellie's Electric Empathy (A to Z = E)


"I've seen things you bloggers wouldn't believe. Cosbolts on fire off the shoulder of CassaStar. I've watched C-letters glitter in the dark near Arlee's challenge. All those moments will be never be lost in time, like tears in the circuit boards of computers. Time to dream."

In case you don't recognise the quote, that was my parody of Batty's last piece of dialogue in the final moments of the film Bladerunner, which was loosely based on Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

I've often been accused of having an over-active imagination by those who don't read science fiction or watch science fiction films and television shows. I usually thank them and then make them watch Bladerunner or read Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. I call it The Empathy Test after the test Deckard administers to determine if Rachael is a replicant in Bladerunner.

Either they just don't get it or they have the light bulb moment - the one where they understand science fiction is not a load of nonsense but in fact exceedingly clever. They see that behind the futuristic disguise, science fiction is really just a comment on the world we live in today, albeit with a speculative angle. That the reader or viewer still experiences all the normal human emotions and senses we experience in real life, just usually via an alternate reality or through an alien's eyes.

Science fiction can challenge our beliefs and make us question the issues that dominate our world today, such as war and global warming, but in a way that still entertains the reader or viewer, and it is this that I love most about the genre.

Do you have a film or book you use to make people understand something you are passionate about?

Don't forget to enter my 300 Followers Competition.

27 comments:

  1. Nice to meet you through the challenge :) Cool posts you have there! I hope to see more of you again during the A-Zs :) Good Luck!

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  2. I have given up on trying to make non-writers understand all about imagination and alternate worlds. Which is why I love A_Z, it lets me meet so many writers. Cool post.

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  3. LOL! Great post Ellie.
    Everything I say seems to be off the wall for most people, who think I have a wild imagination. I often quote from songs and films but not one specifically :O)

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  4. I loved the beginning, though the context was lost on me!
    Am more of a classic science fiction kind of girl.

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  5. I have several but being the nerd I am I stick to the grand daddy of them all Soylent Green :) If you never heard of it, look it up.

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  6. Love your intro. :)

    Science fiction is great. Though I'm not a big sci-fi writer, I do read some and watch plenty.

    Fantasy is my thing but I don't typically reference any films or books. If pressed I'd probably talk about George R. R. Martin and Brandon Sanderson and their books.

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  7. Hmmm. Great question, Ellie! I wish I did. I must think hard and try to come up with one!

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  8. Awwww lovely Ellie!! I dream of electric kitties!! :-)

    How could anyone not sit through all of Star Trek IV and not think "WOW!!!!! Whales are our friends?!?!?!"

    The mind truly boggles! Take care
    x

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  9. "...behind the futuristic disguise, science fiction is really just a comment on the world we live in today, albeit with a speculative angle."
    Bravo! Excellent description. I've long given up on trying to explain the way my head is wired. Either a person gets me, or they don't.

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  10. Hmmm...I don't know... The only book I can really think of is the Bible. :-)
    Interesting post!

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  11. This is a great post I use analogies to help others understand what I am thinking. My favorite is the trampoline analogy.

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  12. Ellie - here's what happened over at my blog:

    And the winner (as picked by Random.org) is Ellie! Congratulations, Ellie! If you could send me an email with your mailing address, I'll get your book in the mail right away. You can reach me at hrwdebhale@aol.com.

    BTW - my post today indirectly features the actor who spoke the original Bladerunner quote.

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  13. There will always be the naysayers. I just sigh and move to another seat!

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  14. I'm an SF geek, but I wouldn't say Blade Runner is a fair test of someone. I always found it kind of boring.

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  15. Oh that was great! I had to re-read it just to be sure I wasn't imagining the play on words. Thanks, Ellie.
    And if they pass the Inception test, they are pure geniuses!

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  16. Not one in particular. Most people get used to my "oddness" and don't think about it any more. Others mention it and they answer, "That's just Mary." As if that explains everything.

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  17. I love "Ender's Game" and all but two of the Ender and Bean series (hated "Xenocide" and "Children of the Mind"--wish I'd never read them). I used to be a SciFi elitist--until the little boy who lived sucked me into fantasy as well. =D

    I'm currently listening to "Starship Troopers" which is one of my favorite books and ABSOLUTELY not to be judged by the dreadful travesty of a movie and its unholy spawn (can't tell I feel strongely about it, can you?). It's hard to get people to realize that not all SciFi is going to end up being a science lecture (though Heinlein did have his moments), but it's not really any different than a fantasy writer explaining how the magic system works in his/her world. A great story is a great story, regardless of the window dressing.

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  18. Awesome adaptation of the quote!!! I don't really have any one book that I use to advocate the genre; I usually run off about 3 or 4 of what I'm currently reading.

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  19. Now you got me thinking. I don't believe I've tried to make others understand what I'm passionate about using books or films, but I will say the ones I am passionate about do reflect many of my views. Great post!
    Look forward to tomorrow,
    Amy
    http://ifbloggingburnedcalories.blogspot.com

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  20. I am passionate about unpredictablility (word?). I can predict most movies down to some lines. Movies/books I love for making me not even think about predicting - Matrix, Harry Potter, Men in Black!
    Thanks for making me think =)
    Happy E Day!

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  21. Believe it or not, I just watched Blade Runner this past weekend; so much better than the book!

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  22. I think I just tend to get very excited about my latest read (if it's good) and tell everyone in earshot, you've GOT to read this! :)

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  23. I don't challenge anyone, but I don't know every many people who don't love to read or to write. My mother is a writer and so is my older brother. My older sister refuses to discuss writing, her loss I figure. My younger brother has great charm and will just laugh along with us.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

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  24. I LOVE your reworked "Blade Runner" quote :) Love that movie too, MUCHLY.

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  25. If people tell me they don't like the BBC's 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice it seriously makes me question whether or not I ever want to talk to them again!

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  26. Love your blog and this post. It is just so interesting meeting so many new people during the A-Z. Look forward to reading more posts.

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