Finding the Future: A Science Fiction Conversation (review)

I’m mystified as to who the audience is for this rough but charmingly enthusiastic documentary about contemporary science fiction fandom. Those already in the thralls of fandom (like, ahem, me) won’t find a single surprising or unexpected thing in the background of fandom — we know we’re oddballs who flock to conventions (or “cons”) in search of fellow oddballs who understand what we’re talking about when we use words like “singularity” and “filk.” And we’re already fully aware of all the concepts the famous — or at least famous-within-the-science-fiction-community — faces discuss passionately for filmmaker Casey Moore’s camera, because we’re already listening to Cory Doctorow talk about the subversive power of the Internet and David Brin talk about machine intelligence and everyone from Nancy Kress to Robert Silverberg to Mike Resnick talk about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in hushed, adoring terms. And those not in the thrall of fandom are unlikely to be drawn to the film at all. With neither a detached enough, anthropological enough approach to the subject — see fans in their native habitat! (the film was shot at the 2000 WorldCon, the major annual gathering of the faithful) — nor a full-blown embracing of geeky insiderness, there’s a neither-here-nor-there-ness to the film that is ultimately unsatisfying. [buy at Amazon]

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