frytha: (buecherwaage)
2009-05-31 05:06 pm
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I have been rewatching Firefly lately (and this time the lack of Chinese or even vaguely Asian people is really getting to me, but that is a different post) and that reminded me why I LIKE its lack of aliens (although the Reevers could be considered pseudo-aliens but still):

A lot of science fiction is so UNIMAGINATIVE about aliens.

They are usually vaguely human shaped with funky skin colour. Or weird deformations. Apart from the fact of what that says about the writers'/producers' implicit associations about skin colour and disability/body deformation it is also BORING.
What I love about scifi (and fantasy) is that it lets you think outside the box. It's practically built on "What if?". What if there is alien life out there that evolved under very different circumstances? That is sentient and conscious but in a very different way? What about a consciousness that is distributed into different beings? Etc.

To answer that by saying: "Oh, they are pretty much exactly like we/our neighbours/our enemies are/were" just seems like taking the easy way out. I loved SGA's Wraith for the first few minutes when it seemed that these human looking beings might actually think and act more like insects and treat human beings with the same disregard and disinterest as we treat flies. That would have been cool! This is why I liked Solaris and the black oil puddle alien in X-Files. At least in Firefly there is a reason the alien-like guys look so human - they are.