Science fiction started with novels and pulps, but mass consumption of the genre truly began when spaceships, aliens, time travel, and preternatural events invaded the small screen. This week, io9 celebrates scifi - and science - on TV.
From Flash Gordon and the Twilight Zone, to Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and Firefly, science fiction television has crept into our brains. And it's influenced millions of people to pursue strange, incredible dreams like piloting a ship to the Moon, or building a physics experiment big enough to detect the Higgs boson.
Of course television hasn't always been a beacon of hope and scientific progress. Science fiction may have found a home on TV, but as a genre it is also one of the most self-critical of the mass media where it finds expression. From the moment George Orwell invented the telescreens in 1984, a healthy subgenre of anti-TV science fiction has reminded us that drooling all day in front of ALF reruns represents the end of dreams rather than their ignition.
For the next seven days, io9 explores the explosive relationship between science fiction and television. We'll bring you extensive previews of the fall TV season, flashbacks to the greatest and weirdest SF TV of the past, and delve deep inside the true meaning of television according to SF. We'll have exclusive interviews with TV creators, a surprise guest blogger, and astonishing facts about TV that lies in your future. We'll also give you a chance to vote on which characters would win in cagematches, and furnish you with ultimate guides to science nonfiction, the best SF TV in the universe, and tons more.
So press your hands against the glowing box, feel it throb under your fingers, and get ready for a week of television appreciation - and mayhem.