Science Fiction Fears, Fantasies, and Symbolism

Deep in the wellspring of science fiction is the ongoing struggle between mechanical monsters and holistic heroes. From bleak and dour tales of extermination and human destruction, to optimistic but nevertheless struggling and pathological battles to save life, science fiction has been battling with our modern monsters from the id boiling up inside of us in the post-atomic era.

Examining five key films of the science fiction cinematic genre: 2001; Star Wars; Armageddon; Avatar; Interstellar; I appraise the dialectic movement of science fiction as one that pits two worlds against each other: The dying natural world of love and romance against the emergent sterile and mechanical, if not overly computerized and mathematical, world of “science.” Each film, I argue, offers a window into the subconscious fears of our predicament as we oscillate between those two worlds.

Read the full, 6,000 word, essay here: HAL Unplugged: Fear, Terror, and Salvation in Science Fiction

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