I know I don’t need to defend Star Trek as A Thing on tumblr of all places, but sometimes it just hits me how much fucking influence science fiction can have.
Like, this is an old one most people already know, but your cell phone looks the way it does because the engineers who created the technology grew up watching Star Trek!
It’s a silly show, especially TOS. TOS has an ep called “The Trouble with Tribbles” for fucks sake about tiny little fuzzball creatures.
But did you know that the guy who wrote the Tribbles episode, David Gerrold, was 22 when he wrote it? Or that he ended up editing a couple of really quality anthologies of science fiction shorts in the early 70s?
And James Tiptree Jr, one of the most brilliant and influential writers of science fiction short stories, as well as the writer of some of the more inspirationally feminist pieces, had a huge crush on Spock, and she later went on to write a love letter/pastiche to Star Trek called “Beam Us Home.”
And much much much more importantly, the first African American woman in space, Mae Jemison, was inspired to join NASA by Nichelle Nichols and Uhura.
There’s a direct palpable measurable affect science fiction — especially diverse science fiction that cares about intersectionality and presenting the voices of those who are not easily heard and critiques society and above all else imagines — has on the world around us. That’s why even the campiest fucking shit from the early days of pulps is worth talking about and preserving. That’s why it’s worth it to get angry about Orson Scott Card’s breathtakingly ingrained heteronormativity or the fact that Joss Whedon had no Asian characters in a show about Chinese-American colonies. That’s why it’s worth reading and writing and listening to and engaging with the whole vast occasionally dreadful genre.