My name is Arvin, and I’m a big science fiction fan since I grew up in Indonesia (Southeast Asia) after leaving the United States at the tender age of 7. In Indonesia, the science fiction shows such as Knight Rider, SilverHawks, Star Trek and Quantum Leap were my cultural links to the country I left behind.
As I grew older, I studied Psychology and Cultural Studies, and learned to see science fiction in a larger, global context.
To me, science fiction is an avenue to discuss possibilities through scientific improbabilities. These ‘scientific improbabilities’ affect the characters’ lives which we could (or never would) experience in real life. Let me give you a few examples.
Star Trek (1966 – present)
For instance, Star Trek shows an imaginative future where most of humanity has overcome their greed and prejudices, and expand their collective energy to pursue the final frontier.
Theorizing one could time travel within his own lifetime, this television drama is about one man’s incredible adventure. Throughout Sam Beckett’s journey through time, he secretly entered people’s lives and touched their lives in a very compassionate way. Where loss and tragedy once occurred, Sam changed the course of history and put right that once went wrong. What captivate me is how innocent and compassionate Sam is each time he ‘leaps’ into the past. Unlike most time travel stories, Sam Beckett exchange places with an individual each time he ‘leaps’. As Sam is in the historical past, the person he leaps into is in the future present. This leap process causes both Sam and the leapee to experience partial amnesia. Oh, Sam couldn’t return to his own time because some unknown force compels Sam to do good and put right on what once went. Good thing, his best friend Admiral Albert Calavicci is able to help him by providing info on each historical cases Sam leaps into… but the info is only partial and incomplete. As a platform for storytelling, Quantum Leap shows incredible heroism, and the two main casts are both stellar in their performances. More over, the show highlights life of average Americans during different eras, from the 1950s up to the early 1990s.
These two shows had a profound impact in my life. Science fiction is much more than TV shows.Perhaps you’ve heard of Superman, the oldest published fictional superhero in comic books.
Or perhaps the Star Wars saga, whom many hard like sci-fi fans considers Star Wars nothing than a glorified space opera fantasy with big budget space effects and magic replaced with the Force. I won’t delve much into examples, but I’d like to question you dear readers… : How does the science fiction genre interest you?