Sci-Fi Romance and the Carnival of Space Love

WALL-E, the best animated-sci-fi-robot-romantic-comedy of all time (yep, I teared up at the end)
WALL-E, the best animated-sci-fi-robot-romantic-comedy-adventure of all time (yep, I even teared up at the end).

I couldn’t resist. As it is the day of romance, love and *pinging* cash registers, I thought I’d post a special Astroengine commentary of Valentines Day. Everyone is doing it; the Google logo is loved up, the news websites are buzzing about it, even the blogs seem to be obsessed with relating their craft with the desire for some romance (even this week’s Carnival of Space over at 21st Century Waves is “doing it”), so here’s some random Valentine’s Day paraphernalia for your reading pleasure…

It's love. Really, it is. A blank kinda love. Roses and chocolate not required (a love scene from the Matrix: Reloaded)
It's love. Really, it is. A blank kinda love. Roses and chocolate not required (a love scene from the Matrix: Reloaded)

As pondered over at io9 by Graeme McMillan, where are all the romantic sci-fi movies these days? The last one I can think of is the excellent 2008 Disney-Pixar film, WALL-E. I’m not a huge fan of romantic movies, but watching the little wheeled waste disposal bot fall in love with the Porsche-class Eve (who was infinitely out of his league) was very touching. Add that to the great CGI, great humour and neat plot, WALL-E jumped into my top ten favourite sci-fi movies of all time.

But what else has there been? I’m at a loss. Apart from classics like Star Wars (i.e. Princess Leia & Han Solo, Han Solo and his questionable bromance with Chewbacca), Back to the Future (i.e. Marty and Jennifer, Marty and his past mother) and more recently, The Matrix triology (i.e. a moody Neo and miserable Trinity in a post apocalyptic-gritty kind of love-lust thing)… I can’t think of many others. I suppose there was a ‘special’ kind of love between Ripley and the acid spitting ETs in the Alien movies, but that’s what makes sci-fi fun, unconventional relationships seem to work.

It's Complicated: Number Six (Tricia Helfer) and Gaius Baltar (James Callis) on the set of BSG
It's Complicated: Number Six (Tricia Helfer) and Gaius Baltar (James Callis) on the set of BSG

Having said that, sci-fi TV shows are different. I’m currently watching Battlestar Galactica (Season 1) where there’s rarely 5 minutes without the impossibly English Gaius and his impossibly sexy Cylon lover (“Number Six” played by ex-model Tricia Helfer, usually partially clad; no bad thing) getting hot and heavy in the ship’s lab. And who can forget the romantic tension between Mal and Inara in the superb 2002 Firefly series? There are way more besides, but those are the ones that come to mind.

If modern sci-fi movies are supposed to be a representation of a futuristic human race (or a colony of humans far, far away), they are doing a bad job at representing human-human/human-alien relationships. TV shows, on the other hand, seem to be faring a lot better. Perhaps its the need to fill out a whole season of episodes with something more than just space battles and alien invasions…

The Carnival of Space Week 90

That science fiction meander was a little distraction from the science fact going on, so for your weekly fix from the space blogosphere, be sure to check out Dr Bruce Cordell’s excellent (and creative!) Carnival of Space over at 21st Century Waves.

This week, decided to get to the bottom of a recent article by Mars Society founder, Robert Zubrin. Yes, a manned mission to Mars could stimulate the economy, but who is going to stimulate the politics?


3 thoughts on “Sci-Fi Romance and the Carnival of Space Love”

  1. As an aspiring sci-fi writer, I definitely appreciate your take on this. The romance aspect is something I’ve always found to be kind of tricky but I’m inspired now and might try a short too see what people think.

  2. As a fellow blogger I like to take the time to let people know when I visited their site. If you could show me the same love at my blog I’d really appreciate it 🙂

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