Space Fantasy and Real Space
Our goal is to separate far-out
science fiction from space travel in the audience's mind. People like to
watch car chases on television, but about 1% of that adventure is more than
enough in one's personal life. That's why Apollo 13 was as exciting as
Star Wars -- it's not the same thing. Star Wars isn't about space travel;
it's a fantasy story in a universe where magic works about the struggle
between Good and Evil. Apollo 13 was a real, human adventure, so it was
even more emotionally gripping than the space-fantasy flicks.
That's why I keep saying that the Big Difference is that the Artemis
Project is real!
Fantasy stories are big sellers, but I've found people get more
involved with the characters in my hard-sf stories because the situations
are more real. They can identify with the adventure. If the big fantasy
was what people just had to have, all the guys in the U.S. would move to
Las Vegas and chase showgirls instead of pursuing the girl next door; or
they'd stay home and watch videos.
Maybe some day virtual reality will be so realistic that it is as
satisfying as real life, but we'll need a new revolution in physics for
that to happen. And even then, a canned script just won't be the same as
the real thing.
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Updated Sat, Aug 14, 1999.