SciFi London – To boldly go?

It’s strange using a split infinitive in the title, but it’s just… artistic license, I guess. Anyway, the week long event was great to see a snippet of how the world interpreted the term “SciFi”, albeit a contained one of course. There were many great plots, most of which centered around dystopia, surveillance and being trapped in many forms – in the wrong society, in the wrong place, in the wrong body to the wrong job or the wrong partner.

When you think about this, these are the common fears that many of us face – the rise of social media and the way technology tracks us and teaches us – the role of gender becoming blurred and society molding to our peaks and troughs with the resultant backlashes, the class and gender gap which comes in and out as often as the tides. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see many great films that I wanted to see – I especially wanted to see “Ghosts with Shit Jobs”, but I enjoyed watching “True Love” – a delve into the individual and marital unit (albeit a shallow one with the time allowance) and to prove how much faith and trust you can invest in a world where every move is tracked.

I especially enjoyed listening to the podcasts – and how many tv series and films like Battlestar Galactica and Blake’s 7 expounded on fears on terrorism and the unsettling uncertainties of our future – like most science fiction. It deals with our past, present and future – while on a surface level, many people believe it to be solely on the latter. How can you define this genre? Does it need the paraphenalia like spacecrafts, aliens, time machines, constant surveillance? These are just metaphorical instruments – representations of the fears we have had and some that we continue to hold. It is a beautiful metaphorical language that has many layers and we can choose how deep the rabbit hole goes… heh.

It’s amazing to see how well a language can be crafted and taken apart, when we add our own perceptions and the weave totally changes (I’m not going to go into Barthes now!), but yes. It’s opened my eyes in many ways.


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