USA Today Piece on Science Fiction and the Oscars

I point to it because I am quoted in it. Yes, I am just that self-serving. But it’s a pretty good article, even without the bit I provided. I was interviewed for the piece while I was loitering at the airport in Atlanta, waiting for my connecting flight, so for several moments I was that guy at the airport, you know, the one talking loudly into his cell phone, oblivious to the annoyance of others. Sorry, Atlanta.

27 Comments on “USA Today Piece on Science Fiction and the Oscars”

  1. I’m pretty sure that every person in an airport is annoying to at least several other people.
    And self-serving i think not, just that awesome is more like it.

  2. Putting that quote on facebook, nice of you to point out that the time of the nerd has come!
    Who likes Atlanta anyway? The airport always has delays and it’s way too hot down there. Sherman had the right idea burning it down.

  3. I lived in Atlanta for a decade. Trust me, no apologies are necessary as you were the likely the least annoying person in a 20 mile radius.

    Oooh, did I say that out loud?

  4. My only problem with “That Guy” is that, generally, their side of the conversation is whiney, bitchy and full of things I’d rather not have any knowledge about. Like the results of their last surgery or what She said about Him.

    At least listening to your interview would have been interesting. Though the urge to interject would have been difficult to master.

  5. Everytime I drive through Atlanta I always wish the Sherman would come back and burn it down again!! I dislike Atlanta so much!! I know this coming summer I’ll be driving through Atlanta twice, the first time in June on my way to ConCarolinas (which is also the site of DeepSouthCon this year) in Charlotte, N.C. If yall have never been to ConCarolinas, I highly recomend it. It is a great convention. I’ll be going through Atlanta again in August forNASFiC in Ralieigh.

  6. My only problem with “That Guy” is that, generally, their side of the conversation is whiney, bitchy and full of things I’d rather not have any knowledge about. Like the results of their last surgery or what She said about Him.

    At least listening to your interview would have been interesting. Though the urge to interject would have been difficult to master.

  7. (sigh).

    Yes, USA Today…fantasy is ‘fading’. That’s why we had ‘Percy Jackson’ open last weekend, ‘The Sorceror’s Apprentice’, ‘Alice in Wonderland’, ‘How to Train your Dragon’, ‘Clash of the Titans’, ‘Robin Hood’, “Shrek Forever After’, ‘Prince of Persia’, ‘Jonah Hex’, and ‘The Last Airbender’ are all opening this year. Oh, and that first of two final Harry Potter films, of course.

    Fantasy and SF have always been in the cinema and aren’t going anywhere. They routinely bring in big sums and remain popular, if not necessarily darlings of critical acclaim. The idea that they’re suddenly ‘big’ is laughable, unless you start making arbitrary categories. If you mark Iron Man 2 as not-SF, for example.

    Ah, well. Some mainstream recognition is nice, even if a little misinformed.

  8. WizarDru:

    “Yes, USA Today…fantasy is ‘fading’.”

    Now, now. It’s not USA Today saying that, it’s one of the people quoted in the piece. There’s a difference.

  9. As an Atlanta, I use our airport quite a bit. There’s not much to do in the Atlanta airport but drop eaves on other peoples’ conversations. At least yours would’ve been interesting.

  10. I had a layover in Atlanta’s airport one time… pretty sure that the flights to hell also have layovers there, just to make sure the souls of the damned understand what they’re in for over the rest of eternity.

  11. That’s a fair cop. Looking back, it was a commenter…though I’d argue that USA Today pick and chose for their message, but you’re right; it’s not fair to attribute one person sentiment to the whole article.

    I guess I just find the idea that suddenly, Sci-Fi is ‘popular’ seems a strange tack to take. Now I grant you fantasy as defined as ‘sword and sorcery’ versus adaptions of kid’s books or myths might be a stronger case…except that by that definition, there fantasy was never there to begin with. If he really meant to say Lord of the Rings, just say it. I mean honestly, pure fantasy in that vein has NEVER been big, except for the LotR movies and a lot of generally good silly fun during the early 80s when D&D was in the zeitgeist.

  12. Am I the only one that changed planes in Atlanta and didn’t hate the whole experience? Of course neither of my planes were delayed or canceled, I didn’t get bumped and my layover was only 2 hours.
    Just enough time to find my next gate, have a drink, relax a bit and then board.

    So all you Atlantans, Atlanteans, what do you call yourselves? Fine people who live and breath down there know that there are those who do not wish for Sherman’s return for any reason.

    Be well

  13. Oh and about the article.

    Any publicity that Science Fiction can get that is of a postive nature, which this mostly is, is a good thing.

    For me Avatar is great visually but not a great story. The movie did get rear ends in seats multiple times so it’s hard to argue about substance.

  14. Jeff S., it’s Atlantans. And as an Atlantan by birth who lives in Boston, anyone who complains about Hartsfield has clearly not spent enough time in Logan.

  15. John, I notice you use the term “sci-fi” in a not-derogatory way. I took a college class on science fiction a couple years back back and the professor (who started reading SF in the fifties, it must be noted) feels that “sci-fi” is an insult to the genre and if one must abbreviate “science fiction” it must be as SF. Do you think this is an old school SF attitude, or one that is simply held by academics who don’t want to be lumped in with the proverbial pizza-faced, glasses wearing, talks with a speech impediment nerd? (you might notice I use “SF” when not directly talking about the term sci-fi–this is because the professor was terrifying and I am sure she is going to find me and yell at me if I do not.)

  16. Mel @21: My impression is that this is a very typical attitude of people who have been in SF fandom since the 1960s or thereabouts (I may be off a decade or so). At that point, sci-fi was a somewhat derogatory designation for things like the typical B-grade monster movie, and many people who were serious about their science fiction (or just enjoyed the good, well-thought-out stuff) didn’t want their things to be associated with it.

    IMO, that association has almost entirely faded except in the minds of the fans in question.

    In any case, the abbreviation SF also has some advantages in the more academic circles (and intellectually-oriented fandom circles) as it can be interpreted as an abbreviation of Speculative Fiction, which is a handy umbrella term that covers science fiction, fantasy, horror, and related works, thereby avoiding the distraction of feeling a need to classify everything into one fuzzily-defined bin or the other before talking abut it.

  17. I know that John makes the distinction between the genres [because, hey!, SF & F allows two columns for AMC] but Weaver’s appeared in **nine** SF/F films by my count.

    However, to respond to @ #21 & #22, Forry Ackerman coined “sci-fi” as a **film** counterpart to the rising popularity of “hi-fi” applied to audio hardware.

    More formally, SF [Heinlein’s “speculative fiction”] generally applies to print and “sci-fi” to film, yet in casual usage — to paraphrase the late Robert B. Parker — the creator’s prime duty is to cash the check, whether it’s made out to “Sci-Fi”, “SF&F”, “SF/F”, or just “Plain Good Story-telling”.


  18. 16: If you die in Dixie, it doesn’t matter whether you’re going up or going down, you still have to make a connection in Atlanta.

  19. Marc,

    The difference is one generally flys to or from Logan.

    With Hartsfield-Jackson one flies to Atlanta, then sits on ones rear for 6 hours while they constantly cancel or delay your flight.

    My current % for non-delayed flgihts out of Atlanta is around 8%.

    The one time I had to fly directly to Atlanta and then drive to Robins was actually fairly pleasant.
    (of course our flight out got delayed)

    At least Hartsfield-Jackson has a couple of Charlie’s Steakery outlets. No, it’s not In-N-Out, and it’s not as good as “The Cheesesteak Shoppe” but still tasty.

  20. When I was telling my family about “District 9” after I saw it in the theatres, I was saying “This movie deserves to be nominated for an Oscar, and it deserves to win one.” I was absolutely tickled pink to find it had been nominated!

  21. Rather confirmed my opinion of Sigourney Weaver. Oh, and hasn’t some religious book or other got something to say about this: “The Geek shall inherit the Earth”.

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