On Wednesday night I attended the Orange County Science Fiction Club.
During that night I had two divergent and separate inspirations. Meaning I am writing two posts.
Here is post 1.
I’ve always loved Science Fiction (SF) and Fantasy.
I own a pair of dragon necklaces which I occasionally wear, and they (dragons) make up a large part of screen savers I use on my laptop.
Of SF, I have seen all of the Star Trek episodes and movies and all the Star Wars movies to date (new one coming later this year).
Of course they also make a large part of the literature I’ve read. I immensely enjoyed the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Foundation series.
And that is where I want to start this post.
The Foundation series was started by Asimov and there are seven books that make up the collection. It is considered by many, including myself, to be the best series of either SF or Fantasy.
But to get the full effect, you have to read not only the seven books, but a number of earlier robotic short stories by Asimov as there are references to the subjects and themes in the stories, esp. in the supplementary books in the series.
(A good place to start?)
Anyway, everyone had an opportunity to talk about his or her thoughts and conclusions about the series. There were 7 or 8 people at the table. And this is where things get interesting.
Most of the people there liked that series and told of how inspiring or entertaining the books were to them.
But two of the people thought the dialogue was boring, esp. in the first book, as there was no action (space ships fighting, etc.). It was apparent that these two people were stating, or at least inferring, that all dialogue in literature was boring.
Surely it is not.
Dialogue can be dramatic. We have Hamlet’s soliloquy and Anthony’s speech in Julius Caesar, both considered great pieces of dialogue in literature. We even have Inherit the Wind, in which most of the play is dialogue.
For those of you who prefer short stories, try Animal Farm. After the animals have driven off the famers, there is still drama. But by diving deep into pigs’ announcements and pronouncements during and after the Revolution, we find the main theme of the story is NOT the fight against a repressive farmer.
The main character in the Foundation series is Hari Sheldon. However, to call him a protagonist may be reckless or careless as it’s hard to figure out exactly what he fighting against.
But in the first book he is on trial for suggesting the Galactic Empire is on the verge of collapse and this collapse cannot be prevented.
During the cross-examination by prosecutor, it appears that Hari Sheldon is playing with the prosecutor and that he, better than the prosecutor or anyone else in the courtroom, knows more about the future that he is leading them to believe.
In the end he banished to an outer world. Where he continues his work.
So what is wrong with dialogue? Nothing! Maybe so many of us are so used to fast moving events at the movies and the speed of the Internet we forget about the other forms of drama.