Monday, October 12, 2015

The Martian: SCIENCE > FICTION

Going to do a quick "blog" post today.  In Transit Monsters is going to continue at some point this week.  And maybe I'll think up something Crux-ish, but this is heavy on my mind.
Poo-Tatoes.
I saw the Martian this weekend.  I've spent so much time talking online and offline on the subject, I'm going to go off in a single direction on this.  WE NEED MORE sci fi like the Martian.  Not explosions.  Not "science dun bad!" but actual, genuine awesome in space.  One of the phrases in the movie catches what I want from the genre: Let's Science the shit of this.
Also, been watching Doctor Who and Agents of Shield again.  Both shows kinda signify I might need to get more NEW shows in my repertoire.  Eek.  
The Martian is based on the book by Andy Weir from 2011.  It's hard scifi, in that the science feels and looks like science.  Not fake look, but the kind of science that has some meat and metal under the drywall.  It tells the story of how an astronaut in a near-future Mars mission survives.  After his crew has him left for dead.
The story is factual.  It presents the actual issues of attempted survival on Mars.  The book goes into length on some of it, which I ate up.  I worried the film might've ducked some of that.  It didn't.  It didn't lecture you on NASA's policies or whatnot, but it conveyed some of the critical ideas.  
What happens if JPL hurries a project?  What could go wrong with the logistics of travel between Earth and Mars?  Astrodynamics and the headaches with adjusting orbits?  SLINGSHOT?
It has all that sweet, sweet science bacon.  Without some sort of bastard of a villain.  Characters that screw things up, make mistakes, but none of which are bwahaha villains.  Technology doesn't kill or maim or be something that "humanity isn't ready for."  Our tools help us save the day.
Hell yes.  I can grok that.
That's kind of what I've been wanting from science fiction.  It's what the genre has been lacking to an extent in mainstream science fiction.  SciFi without science being the source of the big bad.  Even the media isn't portrayed as an antagonist.  
It's because the story is against nature.  Which is where science and technology should be, in a scifi tale.  They exist to help humans win.  The interest in the story then comes from whether it'll work or not.  Will the uncertainty of this idea or that plan fail?  What will go wrong?  How bad will things get before we can make it?
That's the thing about the Martian I enjoyed.  It wasn't a psychological study or about some conspiracy.  It felt like a real take on science.  
So this is me being the geeky guy who is 100% pro-science.  One of the highlights of my weekend being able to go see it.  Go see it.  Nerd it up!
OTHER THOUGHTS
Series 9 of Doctor Who has been a joy, because I love Capaldi's Doctor.  The version of the character that is a bit antisocial appeals to me.  The guy who needs cue cards to deal with normal people, yeah, that makes me giddy.  The excitement came in the last of the two-part episodes (Before the Flood).  The Doctor explaining a sort of paradox with beethoven as the cold open?   Very neat.
Agents of Shield is on season 3.  And they've matured.  People wrote off the show in its earlier seasons because it was immature.  Now they've gotten some of the nails down in their style, I look forward to seeing how they use Inhumans in the MCU.  It feels unique, different and the show kind of benefits from it.  I can't wait for Jessica Jones to drop in a month or so, but I'm certain the Netflix shows won't cross over with AoS.  If given a season or two, I could see crossover stuff happening. 
Whatever they do, it'll be something we aren't expecting.  Which is nice to know could be in the wings.
Ok.  That's it for this post.  I don't go rambling on TV and movie stuff.  The stuff had been on the top of my mind, so it felt apt to share with anyone who cared.  The nature of this blog is to be my stream of consciousness anyway.
Got to get back to inktober 11, too.  See you around.  Thanks for reading.

Also have been antagonizing and trolling libertarians for some stupid reason.  IDK why.  Maybe the part where they make extraordinary claims with no evidence to back them up?  Yeah, I'll go with that.