So long and thanks for all the fish
I know, I know. Every single blog post referencing the 61st birthday of fallen comrade Douglas Adams is going to bear this title, but the man himself said it best, and I'm not going to mess with that.
First off, if you haven't stopped by Google today, do that. You won't regret it.
Now, to begin the digression. (Don't worry - as always, I'll bring it around in the end.)
If you've read this blog at all, you probably have an inkling that I'm a bit partial to sci-fi. I've been a fan of all things geek since before I could form memories - which I know because one of my most primal fears was that Darth Vader's head would one day appear in my toilet. Dr. Freud, eat your heart out.
I couldn't identify what attracted me to science fiction when I was younger, because I didn't like everything with which I came in contact. But throughout the past two and a half decades, every media narrative that I've truly loved has been sci-fi. Every media narrative I've built and thought was even slightly worthy was sci-fi (or SF's bosom buddy, fantasy).
Despite living in a geek-driven pop culture, sci-fi writers still have to put up with a lot of flak from the mainstream. One of my first screenwriting professors told me that he didn't "do" sci-fi, so if I was bound and determined to write an SF script during his term, I was on my own.
The thing that I've come to realize is that when sci-fi is at its best, isn't a genre, it's an analogy. It is the most blessed and cursed of story arenas, because not everyone will take the time to suspend their disbelief and immerse into SF's tentacular bliss, but those who do can discover some of the most artfully constructed parallels to what some of us call "the default world."
Sometimes that analogical advice can be hidden in narratives, coded like dots on the underside of a leaf in Lady Fenring's atrium. And at others, it's as straightforward as big, friendly letters that read, "Don't panic."
So the man who gave us Vogon poetry ("Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in my Armpit One Midsummer Morning" remains my all-time favorite poem title), Babel fish, and the importance of towels is heartily missed today, on what was and will forever be his birthday. No, there aren't fairies at the bottom of that beautiful garden, but when I think of Douglas Adams, taken from us when he was altogether too young, I almost wish there were.
Courier Publications reporter Bane Okholm received her M.F.A. in Screenwriting from U.C.L.A. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @MediaHeathen.