As a kid, I was berated, mocked and heckled because of my interests. I loved Star Trek: The Next Generation, X-Men comics, Doctor Who, Spider-Man and countless other gloriously entertaining, thought-provoking and exciting things like them. I was forever labelled as the nerd, the geek, the saddo, yet I continued to love what I loved, and found some solace in the adventures I watched and read about.
This was maybe four or five years before the internet really took hold, and despite the magazines that were available, I couldn't help but feel rather isolated. When I got online, I discovered that I was far from alone, but still it would be a while until my interests were to become the focus of the mass media.
With the year 2000 there seemed to be a definite shift in perceptions of the science fiction and fantasy genre, and the slew of films, TV series, books and comics that came out at the start of the new millennium did indeed herald a new age of acceptance for the fantastic. Superheroes, spaceships, the unknown and the paranormal were once again at the forefront of the cultural consciousness, and people like me were suddenly fountains of knowledge that people wanted to mine for facts and figures. Vindication was sweet, but it was also rather odd.
Suddenly, the world that had been ours and ours alone had become the playground of millions more people, and it didn't feel quite so secret or special any more. That feeling, for me at least, didn't last too long, and I grew accustomed to a new cultural landscape where I wasn't frowned at for the things I liked so much. It would have been easy, many times over, to just cry out "I told you so!" at everyone, but there has always been the danger that it all may go wrong any minute.
Thankfully, the makers of these wonderful new films, shows and books have upped their game to a point where the product is always improving. Sure, there are huge mis-fires (Enterprise, anyone?), but on the whole, science fiction and fantasy that is available to the masses is improving a great deal.
This will hopefully mean that the trend will continue and we will be treated to more and more quality material from movie studios and publishers. Is this a new golden age we are enjoying? perhaps. I have a feeling that the best is yet to come, and we will be further vindicated for enjoying good storytelling, exciting characters, and having our imaginations stretched. here's to fandom, and all that it entails.
Andrew writes for the popular [http://www.starstore.com]movie and pop culture memorabilia site STARSTORE and their many blogs, as well as being a globally published music journalist and SF author. For the latest updates on the world of movies, TV, comics, collectibles and geek culture, visit====] http://starstoreblog.com
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