Science Fiction and Fantasy Aren’t for Everyone

*FYI, writing that title caused me to shed tears*… Just kidding.

Not everyone likes, or should like, science fiction and fantasy.

I hate to admit this, but it’s the truth and something I think us residents of Geekville need to remember.

Entertainment Freedom

When it comes to books and movies, everyone has different tastes. Entertainment preferences are subjective. Some people might prefer thrillers to fantasy or romance to time-travel stories.

And you know what? That’s okay.

We don’t have to command them to repent of their waywardness and henceforth join us in Geekville to be accepted.

I have plenty of friends who are as weird and geeky as I am—they love Marvel movies, Doctor Who, and Lord of the Rings. I also have friends who aren’t into fantasy or think superheroes aren’t awesome.

At first, it shocked me that all the cool things I enjoy didn’t hit the right notes for everyone else—then I got to thinking, and I realized something important. Just because I like something doesn’t make it universally awesome.

It’s not as if spec-fic is the “good” camp, where the fires are warm and jokes and mulled wine abound, and everything else is wallowing in the despondent darkness, missing the fun, incredible side of life.

I might be me preaching to myself, but I think Geekville suffers from an unfortunate clique mentality. We see our resident geek friends who get the same thrill out of sci-fi and fantasy we do and we think, “Okay, these are my people.”

The inhabitants of Geekville, though strange, are awesome. Which leads to the implied thought that if you don’t live in Geekville and understand all the awesome stuff, your entertainment calibrator is somehow broken. You’d rather read contemporary fiction instead of epic fantasy or watch Downtown Abbey instead of The Flash.

“Heaven forbid,” us geeks say. “One day they’ll see the light and pick a fandom to passionately follow.”

Maybe they won’t, and—try not to faint, fellow geeks—maybe they don’t need to.

What’s the point of entertainment? Oh, right. To be entertained. For geeks that amounts to:

  • The Avengers
  • Hobbits
  • Magic
  • Talking animals
  • Imaginary lands
  • Blue police boxes
  • Wizards

For the non-residents, it’s something else entirely. That doesn’t make their choices less valuable or mean they’re missing out. It means that the types of fictional tastes, and books and movies to accommodate them, are as vast as the lands of Middle-earth. If normal books and movies—or even non-fiction—take them to their happy place, great.

It’s not for me, but who am I—or anyone else—to determine the entertainment choices of humanity?

I love it when I meet fellow geeks, but it’s always good to remember that you can have ordinary friends, too, who in Geekville might not fit in the “cool” category.

Geeks, embrace your weirdness and don’t let people convince you it’s some mental disorder (though it might be, in which case you should see the Doctor), but let’s not shrug off people who want to be normal and force them at wand-point to join the club or remain ostracized.

Do you have a lot of “normal” friends? Do you think us geeks fall into the trap of disdaining “boring” entertainment and people who don’t share our weirdness? I would love to hear your thoughts.


Comments

Science Fiction and Fantasy Aren’t for Everyone — 10 Comments

  1. Great post! I have friends who fits both sides of this fence. Some enjoy the MCU but can’t stand Tolkien, others like Downton Abbey but can’t stand Firefly. I tend to enjoy any good story, but I like using board games as an on-ramp. I can have someone over for dinner and not binge-watch Shield, but bust out Ticket to Ride or Catan and bring people in to taste Geekville. I like your summary though, Geekville isn’t for everyone!

    • I’ve noticed the same thing, Josh. I tend to like most fandoms, but some people prefer sci-fi over fantasy, for example, or aren’t really into the superhero thing but love Batman. Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. Even within the fantasy and sci-fi realm, we have to remember that not every geek likes the same stuff. It’s interesting to see a group of speculative lovers expect everyone within the group to be part of the same fandoms.

  3. Yes exactly. I confess that I love sci-fi infinitely more than fantasy *holds hands in front of face to avoid being slapped* 😛 I am most definitely a geek in that area. I can explain the theoretical metaphysics principles of time dilation, easily explain what a totem is and how it works, let you know (probably against your will) the scientific principles of entropy and enthalpy and thermal equilibrium and how they make it possible to send a ship made of tantalum hefnium carbide to the core and back, or describe how a not-very-nice person could access DNA maps and use retroviruses to create genetic-specific weapons to have all their enemies dead within 24 hours. I can also answer any question you’ve ever had about the species in Star Trek. BUT I am completely lost when it comes to fantasy. It would be interesting to define “geek” and see what it really means….

    • *Note to self: Use Mackenzie as an invaluable resource whenever attempting to write sci-fi.* And don’t worry, no slaps here. I love me some sci-fi, too. 🙂

      Seriously though, that’s great. Everyone has their “thing” and I love how knowledgeable you are. Some of those things sound amazingly cool…especially the retrovirus weapons. That sounds like a good topic for a book.

      According to the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary: Geek: A person who is very interested in and knows a lot about a particular field or activity.

      • Really?? that’s interesting….

        And sorry, I’m already using the retrovirus weapons 😛 Or, should I say, Jensyn Hardee is using the retrovirus weapons….

          • Want to alpha-read for it? I’m sort of waiting for my non-biological twin brother at the moment. He’s writing the good-guy part and I’m writing the bad-guy part, but I could send you my scratchings on it if you want haha 😛

  4. Pingback: A Geek's Guide to Surviving the Real World | Zachary Totah

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