My obsession with the prevalence of mystical forces in sci-fi hits peaks and valleys, but in the last week or so I’ve been thinking a lot about the Ancient, mostly because of a presentation given by Kevin Moberly at SX/TX Pop Culture Conference.
This tree is old, but I don’t know how it corresponds to sci-fi concepts of the Ancient.
I originally thought that the Ancient is a form of Other, the binary that technology and science are opposed to, but as I look at the connections between sci-fi and fantasy I’ve been revisiting that notion. As I said during my diss defense (and as others have said far better elsewhere), science and tech can be seen as a rejection of the primal mother, and thus sci-fi – as the cultural voice, perhaps, of science and tech – becomes a place of rebellion. Sci-fi doesn’t so much reject the Ancient, except maybe in some of its earliest, we-worship-Progress incarnations in the pulps, as it does negotiate a relationship with our lizard brains.
The Pulps are a great example of that, of course.