Science fiction used to be a small genre with a dedicated group of fans relegated to “geek status.” Only a geek could tell you the history of Peter Parker as Spider-man, reveal the inner workings of time travel, spend Friday nights curled up in front of The X-Files, or dress up for Comic Con.
That has changed. More people have come to love sci-fi through the influx of super heroes on the big screen. Anyone with a few bucks in their pocket and a free afternoon can find out how Iron Man built his suit, who Superman’s nemesis is, or which comic characters can appear in the same film franchise together, and which can’t. (I’ll give you a hint… you won’t be seeing Spider-man in The Avengers!)
When I chose “Sci-Fi & Fantasy” for our summer issue, I assumed there’d be more of the latter than the former. I figured most of my writers are bigger “fantasy fans” than “sci-fi geeks.” I am pleased to be wrong, which proves the increased fascination far-away worlds, aliens, and super heroes have on our culture. It isn’t just boys anymore that love sci-fi… female audiences have found a lot to love in the kick-butt heroines of the genre, who on and off tote FBI badges, guns, and on frequent occasions (or all the time, if you happen to be Helen Magnus) high heels. There is a lot more sci-fi in this issue than fantasy. I’m not sorry. Sci-fi is a great communicator of spiritual truths.
If you are a new fan of the genre or just starting out, I hope this terrific collection of thought-provoking articles looking at some of the more popular (and a few obscure) sci-fi and fantasy franchises will increase your interest in traveling to distant worlds, looking at the world with new eyes, or discovering that God is present in all things… even and perhaps particularly science fiction.
There isn’t room for them all. If I had my way, this issue would be 700 pages long and have articles on everything from Fringe to Sanctuary. But there are future issues for that. In the meantime, read on, stay happy… and live long and prosper. ■