Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Starship Troopers Undresses My Mind

Lots going on, lots and lots going on. Some good, some 'I'm this close to sticking your kidneys with something sharp!'. But I want to focus on something I've been thinking about lately with all the SF talk.

I love Starship Troopers.

No, I really love Starship Troopers. Not the movie series. Oh hells no. That series got fucked over by Paul ' I hate science-fiction' Verhoeven, who had an axe to grind re: the book's seeming fascism. And I have to wonder what in it was so upsetting to him that he couldn't finish the book, but he could try and direct and create a movie based on it. But yeah, the whole Riech-sque uniforms and 'Meat For The Grinder' make me want to kick him in the balls. Repeatedly. With a blunt nosed shoe.

But I like the book and I love the cgi series. A lot. And I really can't explain why. I mean, there are a lot of reasons I enjoy it, if I sit and think about them. A friend pointed out that there were possibly strong female roles and character development. And I've mentioned myself, that Americanisms' aside, Dizzy and Rico are meant to be South American and brown. And well, I've realized my whole 'OMG ENSEMBLE'.

But those just feel like extra.

Now it could well be that given my particular views, I like the thought of an alien menace who looks out over the galaxy and our little solar system and goes "Frontier. It's perfectly empty and new. And look at all that food (crazy strange animals) running around!" And everytime humans think they have a handle on it, they don't. It's just one little piece of a far greater whole.

I might like cheering for the underdog.

But I think, maybe, it's the characters. I love these characters. They're real to me in a way the characters in Battlestar Galactica (v.2) and other shows weren't. There isn't a huge complex multilayered plot, trying to twist and turn, mind fuck, with soap opera quasi political titillation. It's just people, facing odds that can't be imagined, trying to do their jobs for the sake of the idea/l of home and country and planet.

Something I love so much that it's one of the things I miss most about Wowio - getting to see which series within Dark Horse's continuation of that universe, held truer to the series and book than to the movie. (Have I mentioned how much I want nothing to do with the movie and I only give thanks that they made Dizzy a girl?).

But back to the lovefest. I seriously love the CGI Series Universe. And it's surprising to me, because it's Space Opera/ Space Saga and for a very, very long time I wasn't paying attention to what I liked and how others might describe it. For a very long time I found certain things more obviously labeled Space Saga to be too cold and analytical and all about guns and machinery and physics and it really and truly did set me to thinking that I was a girl, I didn't enjoy math to start with (so boring - at least until I hit Calculus) these books weren't meant for me.

It's only been within the last three years maybe that it occurred to me that I just like character driven stories more than anything else. And that I'd never let Trek's technobabble ever scare me. I'd studied the damn stuff for RP's wherein I was an engineer: Matter, anti matter, string theory, the electromagnetic spectrum, particle physics, black holes, sound, space, time and dimension.

And yet, the moment I picked up a book about a Ship Fleet in Space, I got bored. Quickly. I didn't want tech porn or military power flexing porn. I want/ed to read about people.

Maybe that's the reason I love Starship Troopers so much. It's all dropzones and marauders, military jargon and blowing shit up. But I give a damn and the rest of it all just makes the giving a damn hold more weight and the character and what they're going through be more interesting.

The craziest part of all of this for me, however, is the sensation of wanting to write adventures in space. On one hand I don't feel at all equipped. And then on another, I face up to the fact that I've been reading (and particularly watching) space stories for years and wondering about things in them.

I want to know more about a system where new Mecca is one of many cities selling light. I want to know more about the Athosians. I wonder how the Maquis compare to Browncoats and Firefly/Serenity. What happens in a universe where spacefaring humans are the most fragile of the questing species? How far away is the galaxy John Crichton found himself in from the Delta Quadrant? Is the Spirit of the Abyss an agent of The Shadows? Are the Ascended a sub-grouping of the Q Continuum? Are the Vorlons? Or are they highly evolved Vulcans? What kind of bug is the Alien in Aliens?

There's probably more, these are the ones floating at the forefront of my mind at the moment. And I guess the only way I'll find answers to their possibilities is to write about it all myself.

But yeah, it feels odd. Very odd. I've always known I had a strong love for fantasy fiction, world building and civilizations and magic and epics. And obviously I've had the same for space faring stories - I just haven't known it, till now.

Thank you, Starship Troopers.