On The Veracity of Science Fiction
I've just finished watching Joseph Campbell's video interview with Bill Moyers - 5 times! See I teach 5 English classes and this is required viewing. Around the third time I heard Campbell say this a bell went off:
"One of the wonderful things, I think, about this adventure into space, is that the narrator, the artist, the one thinking up the story, is in a field that is not covered by our own knowledge."
Here's where I differ with so many in the Science Fiction community - I don't care about scientific accuracy, I much prefer emotional accuracy. I want to see a detailed, nuanced depiction of a person; I don't particularly care if the moon in is on the wrong quadrant. I mean think of what we put up with: lasers and flames (WTF?!) in SPACE!! Attack ships on fire?!, RD-D2 even beeps and boops in space! Apparently, in Hollywood's Space, they can hear you scream.
Which brings me to this guy:
Don't get me wrong, he's a nice guy, I like him just fine. I'm sure it's a good show and Lord knows we could use more sciencifying in our culture-thingy. But then I saw these articles and Tyson is all "Your star field is wrong." And I find myself shouting at my computer, "YOU'RE THE ONE WHO'S DOING IT WRONG!" I mean if that's what it takes to make a fictional moment satisfying for you - absolute mimetic accuracy - well then, fuck, I don't know what to tell you. I can't relate.
I get quite enough mimetic accuracy from the piece of tape residue that I can't get off my office floor.
That's not why we turn to fiction. Well, maybe some do, but not me. I could care less. As long as the story is consistent and the characters are human and nuanced, I'm in. You don't have to research the star field. Research your heart, Dr Tyson!