Has Science Fiction Cranked Your Head? Part One | memetherapy

This post
Is it calling?
Is it calling?

is a response to the viral BrainParade seed question on the memetherapy.net site. As every child over the age of Octebuary knows, memes are our invisble overlords Some memes are a little… well, one could say ‘odd’, but perhaps ‘downright twisted’ or ‘OMG EEEK! WTF!?’ would convey a more accurate impression. This is why they need therapy of course, it is hoped that with counseling they may get to grips with their own inner trauma and epistemological disjuncts in order to become happy memes. Happy memes are a good thing. Happy memes may reward us with cake! Who would not say ‘hurrah!’ for happy memes but a big fat grumpynose. Which I am sure is no-one here.

The questioning process is a fairly simple and painless one, apart from the complexity and intense pain that is. They contact you and ask you if you would like to take part, or whether you would prefer they mail the negatives to the media and law enforcement agencies. Having thus gained your joyful acquiescence they turn up unannounced one night in a plain sided panel van, drag you kicking and screaming with glee into the back and strap you down to a chair. From there it’s just a quick drill into the cranium to inject the viral memes, a short and enjoyable hypnotic brainwashing program to show you how wonderful the future will once Commandte Reid takes over from Blair and and saves us from having to worry our pretty little heads about all that politics business by abolishing voting and any other form of public input into government. There was then a brief beating session with a variety of salt water fish, the haddock being my personal favourite, before they sung the question in rather fine three part harmony.

“Has Science Fiction had an impact on your world view? And if so how? Is there one writer or novel in particular that has “cranked” your head open?”
Later, as I walked back in the icy rain from Ebberston Moor where I’d regained consciousness, duct taped hastily to a solitary tree, I had plenty of time to ponder this question.

Although I can really think of no one instance where it would be directly possible to say that because of SF I think This, at the same time it would also hard to argue that it has had none, more probably it is the very foundation that my world view is constructed on.

My sordid affair with SF probably began when I was 6 or 7 or 6 again, when I gave up the grisaille of sickly-sweet-communist-ideology-laden tracts of writers like Enid Blyton and Arthur Ransome for the unfettered and boundless freedom to be found in books like the dragonfall-5 series, or the works of Nicholas Fisk and some other guy I can’t recall offhand who wrote a book about this bloke whose planet was blown up and was really good and fighting and stuff and junk and it was really cool; at the same time delving into the slightly-less-forbidden world of fantasy in the shape of such authors as Susan Cooper, Lucy M. Boston, Robert Westall and Alan Garner.

It could well be that it was the books that I read in those early years were the ones that most shaped my way of thinking, as they were the ones that educated me in open-mindedness and inoculated against the lure of conformism, something that science fiction tends to do in general, apart from Piers Anthony obviously.

From there I wandered like an almost giant unstoppable pink plastic gyrovague from one book to the next, devouring them in a manner that would give Gojira mild hiccups just thinking about it — although not literally. Stopping only occasionally to quaff the Somerset scrumpy cider of which I was much enamoured of at the time, but now can’t stand. I even went on the seemingly inevitable Lord of The Rings binge at round-about the age of 12 or 13 or possibly 12 again, reading it through 9 times before moving on once again to more grown-up works (oh yes, we likeses our flamebait, don’ts we my expensive….)

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