Science Fiction Today – Yetis

YOkay, so maybe it looks like we’re stretching here. Just going for a word that starts with Y. And yes, that’s partially true. Still, I mean it. I want to talk about Yetis, and Big Foot, and the Loch Ness Monster. I want to talk about Dragons and Unicorns. And the future.

As the world grows smaller, as our ability to travel over it, and map and document it grows, as we dig into it and find the fossils and the past and the history of it… is there still room for these mythical creatures? These possibilities, these mysteries. Creatures of wonder. Is it okay for us to lose wonder in the name of exploration?

We Lose Wonder

On the one hand, we might lose wonder. As we explore the depths of the sea, all the lands, as we explore the far reaches of space with telescopes and probes. As we find the answers. And if we find the answers to the questions, to the mysteries, will we find new and more mysteries, new and more questions? Maybe not. We may instead start to think that we know everything, that we have all the answers. The End of Science.

Like in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation, where scientists were little more than historians, reading the works of the great thinkers. Deciding validity between your sources. Nothing against history, I love history. But by not doing the science themselves, by just accepting all is known and nothing else needs to be done, we can miss things – and thus the plot to Foundation as a galactic human civilization collapses. Because no one was looking for signs of change – they already knew everything.

Endless Wonder

It’s the tagline from Warehouse 13, and maybe that makes sense, as that was a show devoted to the thought that there was more to this world than we see or know. But I think the better example is really Star Trek. A series all about exploration. About having new mysteries to find, new expanses to explore. The Final Frontier.

We need to think like that, though. That there are always new frontiers, that there are things we don’t know yet. That maybe there are still things out there, things worth finding. Maybe there are monsters, maybe there are friends. They tend to find both in most exploration science fiction. Mythical creatures are much the same way – at times helpful, at times awful. Some don’t seem to want to be found. Those are the things to keep us looking, the idea of them. The idea of the as-yet unfound, unproven or disproven Yeti. The thing to keep us searching.

Want more on Monsters? Check out the A to Z Theme “Lady Monsters” over on Part-Time Monster!

This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge, and also part of our occasional series on Science Fiction Today. You can read an explanation of both here. We are striving to keep these posts short, and know that we have not covered every example or angle – plenty of room for discussion!

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6 responses to “Science Fiction Today – Yetis

  1. Serendipitous… I was just thinking about this while writing yesterday. I think it’s connected to how sailors used to be seen as very superstitious — subject to the unpredictable whims of the ocean, and seeing all kinds of creatures and phenomena they didn’t understand, of course they were. I think it’ll be the same for space travel. The aesthetic will probably be different, less ooey-gooey monster and more energies and forces and whatnot, but I think it’ll be there. More like Interstellar in tone than Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

    For my Chappie reference, I’ll drop a link to Todd Alcott. It’s a strange case in that it’s almost fairy-tale-like, where we experience the universe through Chappie’s childlike wonder… But at the same time, a sentient being’s consciousness can be created in an overnight programming session, and later on conceptualized even faster. Almost perfunctorily. http://www.toddalcott.com/some-thoughts-on-chappie.html

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great review, thank you for sharing 😀 Between your comments and the review, my need to see the movie soon keeps decreasing 😉 Yet, there’s still this need to see it – to see this childlike robot wonder, and to see this South African culture!

      And that’s a good point about space exploration – there there be monsters! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think we have to worry about losing wonder… if we ever find all the answers (I doubt it!) we would then have curiosity… what would happen if we did X and Y? We already do this all the time (invention, experimentation), and I don’t think the faculty for this will ever lessen in our nature.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you’re right. I had to go re-read my post… This was the first one I wrote 😉

      I see I mentioned the idea of “The End of Science,” and you also see things like “The End of History” in the nonfiction. Or the idea of a “Theory of Everything.” The fear I have with us even feeling like we’ve reached the end is, what then? Nothing? I don’t accept that. Sounds like you don’t either 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Never!!!! Besides, there’s simply too much to know for one lifetime. Art, history, language, science, culture… this is enough “material” to keep each person active for their whole lifetime. I’m not worried. Even if we “have” the answers to everything, it doesn’t mean that the knowledge is osmotic (woah, that’s a word!?) Every generation will have to learn it again… and they’ll probably go about it a brand new way, adding angles never considered before. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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