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Everyone has a friend who doesn’t like science fiction or fantasy stuff. You’ve had this conversation I’m sure. It inevitably happens to every one of us.
“Hey did you see ______?”
“No, I can’t watch those movies.”
“I’m sorry, we can’t be friends anymore.”
It doesn’t have to be this drastic or dramatic, but I think you get the idea.
However, for the people in your life who are interested in going to see movies, TV shows, and read books to support you, here’s a list to help ease them into our world. Don’t get excited, these may not convert them to the dark side but you may be able to save your relationship.
These are not for the advanced techie, world-builder, or alien aficionado. These are for the layperson who just wants to get through one of your genre favorites without falling asleep or wanting to bore their own eyes out.
Depending on your level of engagement and relationship you will have a varying amount of their time and attention to your favorite subject.
The 30-45 Minute Option:
TV shows are a great way to introduce them to your favorite worlds. They are short enough that they may not fall asleep. (Choose your times wisely). Also, the segments can be broken up by commercials where you can pause to explain anything they may not understand while allowing them to enjoy the show. The following have been chosen based on their ease of understanding whether or not viewed in episodic order.
A U.S. Marshall becomes the sheriff of a remote cozy little Northwestern town of Eureka where the best minds in the US have secretly been tucked away to build futuristic inventions for the government which often go disastrously wrong.
Set decades after Captain Kirk’s five-year mission, a new generation of Starfleet officers set off in a new Enterprise on their own mission to go where no one has gone before.
The 90 Minute Option:
Movies are the next level up. Your loved one is committing to sitting in a comfortable seat, eating comfort foods while trying to keep their eyes open to your long awaited favorite film that they’ve never heard of. Go easy on them. The following movies were chosen based on themes easy to understand or characters that may already be familiar to them.
Black Panther – in theaters now
T’Challa, the King of Wakanda, rises to the throne in the isolated, technologically advanced African nation, but his claim is challenged by a vengeful outsider who was a childhood victim of T’Challa’s father’s mistake.
Clark Kent, one of the last of an extinguished race disguised as an unremarkable human, is forced to reveal his identity when Earth is invaded by an army of survivors who threaten to bring the planet to the brink of destruction.
The brash James T. Kirk tries to live up to his father’s legacy with Mr. Spock keeping him in check as a vengeful Romulan from the future creates black holes to destroy the Federation one planet at a time.
The alumni cast of a space opera television series have to play their roles as the real thing when an alien race needs their help. However, they also have to defend both Earth and the alien race from a reptilian warlord.
The Reading Option:
The nice thing about books is that you don’t have to read them together. They can be completed on their time and at their pace. The bad thing about books is that they may not get through the entire thing before giving up. There are still a few ways around this.
One option is to choose shorter works of fiction. Even short stories can be enough to immerse them in your world. Do not start with an epic story of 500-900 pages. That’s just mean.
Anthologies work best for this because there are a variety of stories on the same theme by several different authors. The length of each story is usually short making it digestible to the new SFF reader. *A word of warning most of the short anthologies with multiple authors are limited editions only. If you can’t find these look for something recently published with lost of popular authors.