Discussion, Scifi, Scifi month

This Is Why You Can’t Ever Seem To Get Into Scifi Is There A Scifi "Language Barrier"?

Okay, so… Breathe in deeply – it’s the last SciFi Month post! It is exciting, but by the end of it, I find myself tired of blogging pretty much exclusively about scifi (there were only two unrelated posts, not counting the wrapups!) I hope you have not grown tired of me yet… But if you have, good news! Cause right after this one last post… We are going back to normal.

I’m both sad and relieved. It’s a strange feeling!

Anyway, post is a discussion. Or really, more of a question. I’m going to talk about what might be relevant to you all – even those who don’t read a lot of scifi. In fact, it’s even more relevant to you, if you don’t read scifi.

How so?

Well, the other day, me and my blogger bestie Jackie @ Death By Tsundoku were talking about scifi books, and she told me that she sometimes finds it hard to read them, because she can’t wrap her head around all the sciencey bits.

Mostly because she can’t tell whether it’s at least somewhat believable, rooted in true scientific fact, or absolutely and completely fantasy.

For me, that was news. I mean, I should have realized that that’s mostly why a lot of people don’t dig scifi, and especially a lot of women. Not a lot of people did science in university or college. Not many of them even did physics in school. Or if they did, they didn’t love it. Or even like it. Most people I know downright hated it, cause it made them feel bad about themselves. (Or rather, their teachers did.)

See, the thing is… You kind of have to love science to love scifi. Most of the time. Not all of the time! But most of the time indeed, at least with hard scifi. That’s the thing with me – I’ve taken quantum physics in university. I greatly enjoyed it, and it still remains one of those things that I like to ponder about, that almost crosses the line between science and magic, physics and metaphysics – by how incredible it sometimes it.

So we come to an example. That bit in Philip Pullman’s Amber Spyglass when the Gallivespians talk on the resonators through any distance because two paired particles act the same even when separated? That’s a scientific fact. Now, separating them over great distances is no scientific fact, not that I know of. At least, we’re probably quite a ways away in out timeline for that (feel free to correct me if you know more on this.) But this is exactly the thing! A lot of you won’t know this (I applaud those who did!), and this will take away from your enjoyment. To you it all might as well be fantasy, right? To me it isn’t. And you’ll find that to a lot of other scifi fans it isn’t. (Alright, let’s overlook the fact that Pullman’s trilogy is mostly fantasy, not scifi. But it has a lot of it based on quantum mechanics.)

So does this mean that maybe you’re just not sharp enough for ‘all the science talk’? LOAD OF BULL! You just haven’t found the right kind of scifi, which is why I also want you to recommend me some language-barrier-less scifi if you have read it. So we can spread the love!

There will always be incredibly approachable scifi books like The Illuminae Files etc. which are there for all of us to enjoy, science background or not! And I feel like this IS the great revolution of scifi and this IS why it’s bringing in these unbelievably big audiences – precisely because it doesn’t have the ‘hard scifi language barrier’! While I will always love the sciencey bits in books, I also feel like this is a very welcome change in the world of scifi. We must include everyone. It’s great that scifi is opening its doors not only by actually including female and diverse characters (for once), but also allowing for a greater audience to be reading and enjoying it.

So this is what I want to talk about. Discuss with me! Is it like that for you? Do you think this theory is correct for you? Have you experienced the ‘scifi language barrier’? Or do you think my theory is nonsense and it’s really not like that at all? Tell me everything!