My Semi-Annual Reminder That I am Not a Fan of Science Fiction Movies

Because I’ve been asked nearly a dozen times what I’ve thought about Interstellar, let me remind folks that while I am a science fiction writer, and I love reading science fiction, I am not a fan of science fiction movies. Sure, when I was a kid, I loved Star Wars. But as I got older, the science fiction movie gene within me atrophied. Indeed, the movie gene seems to have withered within me, and so it should come as no surprise that I have not seen Interstellar.

Nor do I have any interest in seeing it. I never saw Gravity either, and I feel no worse or better because of it. I’m not saying that science fiction movies are a poor substitute for books. I am no position to be a judge of that. For me, however, I’d much rather spend my time reading or writing science fiction than seeing it on the big screen.

For those who are curious, the last science fiction movie that I saw in theaters and truly enjoyed was Contact. But that was a long time ago, and my movie gene has withered tremendously since that time.

Once again, no judgement for those who enjoy such movies. I enjoy watching my friends talk about science fiction movies they loved or hated. I just have no desire to see them myself. Personal preference. And now I have another post to which I can point people when asked what I thought of Interstellar.


    1. Somehow I overlooked that part of the fine print. Serves me right. Also, it didn’t help that I was virtually kidnapped at Launch Pad and taken against my will to see Pacific Rim. It is an experience from which I can never fully recover. 😉

      1. Pacific Rim was a crime against humanity.

        That said, I think it’s curious you don’t watch movies (or really television from what I can gather), but you do most of your reading via audiobook.

        I personally disagree with you that listening to audiobooks is the same as reading a book. Not to debate that point, but I just find your comment about movies an interesting corollary to your preferred method of reading … uh, listening … uh… book ingestion, since there is production value added to most, if not all, audio books.

        But Pacific Rim…


        1. If I recall correctly Jamie has not always been a fan of audiobooks. In fact I believe he considered them not the same as reading at one time but has since changed his mind.

          I, personally, only started listening to audiobooks in the past few years and was probably a little snobbish about them prior to that.

          99% of the audiobooks I listen to have little to no production involved. Basically I’m getting proper pronunication of words, with proper timing and vocal inflection. Some readers choose to offer different voices for each character.

          If the point of reading is to get a story from the writer’s brain into my brain then audiobooks are just as viable as anything else.

          And I’ve found audiobooks to be a great help in cracking into books that I couldn’t get into via print reading. There’s something about the forward progression of the audio where you can’t easily skip back that moves you into the world you are listening to.

          1. Dan, you are correct. I was pretty vocal on my opinion that my experience of the work would be different in audio than by reading it. It turns out, my experience is at worst the same, and at best, better. But I really backed into audiobooks as a last resort to continue to absorb books within an increasingly limited set of time constraints.

            With movies, I don’t feel the same way. I don’t feel like I’m missing anything, the way I do with books. Maybe that is the difference.

  1. I don’t disagree that it’s a viable form of entertainment (although one I have never been able to get into).

    I don’t agree that it’s a form of “reading” anymore than hearing a story around a campfire is a form of reading.

    1. David, I concede the point. “Reading” is a different activity from “listening.” I was using them synonymously mostly to imply that I am getting the same information as a reader would get. That was my main point. But you are right, reading is a different activity from listening. That said, I think the result, at least for me, is the same.

  2. Jamie

    Again, I was not trying to debate the audiobook point (and I hope I didn’t come across as a jerk – my apologies if I did), as I know you once thought the same way I did about audiobooks and your feelings changed.

    I just found your comments about movies generally really interesting. I’m not a screenwriter by any means, but i have learned a lot about writing fiction by studying the structure of movies. In fact, the book I found MOST helpful in writing novel-length fiction was Screenplay, by Syd Field.


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