Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Some stories that helped me find love for science fiction and fantasy

The prompt for this small post is this post from the site IO9, where they ask "what story made you fall in love with science fiction and fantasy?" As a kid, there were a lot of stories from books and media that lit a fire for me when it comes to science fiction and fantasy. I am selecting a few, and I am doing a sort of album for the list. The items are in no particular order, and the list is not comprehensive. There are other tales I could have chosen, but these are the ones that came to mind right away. On an interesting side note, as I grew up in Puerto Rico, many of these I watched dubbed in Spanish. It would be a long while before cable came into my life.

1. Space 1999: This was a series that I really liked as a kid. I loved the Eagle spaceships. This was something I remember watching after school.

2. Battleship Yamato. The American version is known as Star Blazers, which was a badly edited dubbed version. However, in Puerto Rico we were lucky because they brought in a version from Europe (likely dubbed in Spain, if I recall) that had the full anime, only dubbed in Spanish. I remember this fondly as I had to get up early in the morning to catch the episodes before school. I have no idea to this day why they broadcast it so early in the morning (it was likely not seen as prime time stuff).This intro is not the version I used to watch. The version I watched had an instrumental introduction, very somber. But this is close enough to give you an idea.

3. The Robotech series was another one that I was hooked in. Later on, I found the novelizations. I still have the complete set of novels. I loved those jets turning into combat robots.

4. Ray Bradbury's story "There Will Come Soft Rains." I don't recall quite where I read it the first time. I think I had to read it for school, but it was a story that I have come to love.

5. Jules Verne's The Mysterious Island. This was a book I ordered from one of those school book club forms when I was in middle school.

6. The films of Ray Harryhausen. I thought those films, especially his Sinbad films, were among the most awesome films of all time. In fact, I remember seeing Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger in the movie theater. Every time a Harryhausen movie comes up on cable, you can rest assured I will be tuning in. I probably should get  DVD set of these at some point.

7. Of course, for a kid of my time, Star Wars films (the original ones) were a big part of my childhood. I saw them all in the theater as they came out, and I used to have a big toy collection as well that sadly did not make it to my adult years. I don't think folks need a movie trailer for this.

8. Battlestar Galactica. I refer here to the original 1970s series. Latin America was one of the places where they released a theatrical film (see the linked article), and naturally, my parents took us to see it. I was lukewarm on the rest of the series, and the 1980s series when they arrived on Earth was one I did not really care for. By the way, I never got into the new remakes.

9. The film Krull. This is still one of my favorite films to this day. The scene of the old seer, who helps the hero, and the Spider Widow, is one of my favorites. It is certainly a very romantic one too in a way you very rarely see in films these days. Plus, as a kid I wanted to ride one of those swift stallions. Plus, that glaive star is seriously bad ass.

10. Ulysses 31. This I watched dubbed in Spanish. It combined two of my greatest passions as a kid: space adventure and Greek mythology. What else could a geeky kid ask for? And hey, I managed to find the Spanish version's trailer. Heck, I can still sing this theme song today.

11. El Galactico. This was part of an anime robots and space adventure series.In this particular series, a princess traveled the galaxy escorted by three fighters she would meet along the way in order to restore her kingdom, if I recall the plot correctly.

Here is the intro trailer (Spanish dub) of the "Festival de los Robots" (Robots' Festival), which included El Galactico. It was kind of an anthology series. I went through a bit giant Japanese robots stage as a child.

12. And when it came to giant robots, back in my day, Mazinger Z was the big boy on the block. We even had trading cards of Mazinger Z as kids back then. For me, this was the good stuff before stuff like Transformers and Voltron came along.

13. Finally, as a kid, I wanted to be space pirate  like Captain Harlock (or Capitan Raimar, as he was known in the Spanish version).

So there you have it, some of the stories that made me fall for science fiction and fantasy. There are some others I could add to this list. Then there are many I have read as an adult that keep that love for the genres still alive, but that is another post.

How about readers out there? Any stories, be they print or media, that made you find love for science fiction and fantasy? Feel free to share and comment.

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