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Awesome Thing: Moon

In Awesome Things, Movies, Science Fiction on May 20, 2010 at 11:18 am

I’ve added categories to this blog, and after doing so realized that I tend to blog quite a bit about media. No surprise there. I’ve decided to intermittently endorse various things that are not necessarily current, stuff that I enjoy for some reason or another. All of these will be under the “Awesome Things” category. Here’s my first non-current endorsement, Moon.

I’ve been meaning to blog about Moon for quite some time now. You really ought to watch it. I don’t want to give away too much about it, but was far and away one of the best science fiction stories that I’ve seen or read in a long, long time.

When I was a kid, I devoured Asimov, Clarke, and Dick’s short stories. I checked out collections of Hugo-winning short stories and novellas, and devoured them with gusto. Science fiction, I think, is uniquely suited to the short story. Brief narratives can be built around a single interesting idea, a nice little “what if…” scenario that can put a human face on speculation and abstraction.
Moon reminded me a great deal of those stories by Asimov & Co. The film is science fiction in the traditional sense, starting from a speculative scenario of what it would be like to live by yourself in a station on the moon. It goes from there, with Sam Rockwell having no one to talk to except himself and his computer buddy voiced by Kevin Spacey.
I wish I could talk more about the plot. I really do, but I don’t want to spoil a thing about it for anyone who hasn’t seen it. There is a twisty moment in the middle, but something that I really, really love about the movie is that the further sci-fi weirdness is used as a departure point, not a conclusion. When the audience does find out about a given futuristic oddity in the world of Moon, the movie does not just say “PRESTO!” and leave it at that. Instead, it actually develops the weirdness, exploring it just like good science fiction should.
Moon reminded me of all the reasons I love science fiction. It reminded me why I love speculation and wonder, why I think that “what if…” is a great question to ask, why I devoured all those short stories, and why I wanted to be a sci-fi writer when I was younger. (Actually, I still sort of want to be a sci-fi writer sometimes…) It is everything good and neato and smart and clever about the genre, and it reminded me not that I love stories about space and robots, but why I came to love them in the first place.

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