Following the lead of Martin over at aardvark, I will do a little pushing for a cause I believe in. And not one of those whining save-the-world causes, for a change. This one is to promote ideas and a sense of wonder and a love for fiction and imagination, and to help make a brighter and more wonderful future for humanity.
Escape Pod is the best thing ever. EVER, I tell you. Mr. Steve Eley has, for the last 3 years, presented a science fiction story for our listening entertainment every week. These stories are often “classics” plucked from magazines and books, or else new fiction from excellent authors.
Now if you are the kind of person who turns their nose up at the words “science fiction”, and considers speculative fiction to be less “worthy” than the mountain of other made-up stuff in the world, then you can fuck off right now. Go on now, get lost.
Likewise, if you are a raving sci-fi fan who has a federation uniform hanging in the closet, thinks that Yoda is a philosopher and admires the tight plotting in Independence Day, then you can fuck off too. Because you have also missed the point.
Science fiction is as full and worthy a form of literature as any other. And, in fact, when any work of science fiction begins to be accepted as “worthy” it tends to be stolen and renamed as literature by snobs. “But that’s not really sci-fi,” they will mumble. “It doesn’t have aliens in it!”
Examples of this are “1984”, prize-winning books like “The Road”, and practically anything by Margret Atwood. It’s all very sad, but it happens all the time. Literary snobs are idiots.
True science fiction is all philosophy and wonder. It is an extrapolation of ourselves and our society into a new direction, and observing what this change will have on real people. It is not robots and rockets, although it CAN be about the effect that these robots and rockets will have on us as humans. Science fiction is simply looking at ourselves through some different filters.
Now Mr. Eley is out there reading, editing, and posting audio stories out of pure love for the field. I adore people like this, people who will pour huge chunks of their time into projects with little hope of payment, and all out of love.
To me, the absolute perfect morning (by myself, at least) is sleeping late, doing some writing, and enjoying a lunch-time breakfast in my underwear while listening to the latest Escape Pod, or to one of the 147 stories in the archive. Pure bliss.
So it’s time to get to work. Get your arse over to Escape Pod right now. Listen to some of the stories (although not all of them appeal to everybody, not even to me). And then, if you like it, donate some cash. It all helps in the on-going fight against mediocrity and against the idiot media who hurl their stinking feces at us day in and day out in the hope that some of it will stick. And sure, there’s a lot of bad science-fiction out there, but show me an area of human activity that isn’t 90% shit.
So please people, help to keep this marvelous ship afloat, because once we as a species run out of imagination then we are well and truly fucked.