Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Science-fiction

I don’t think I already mentioned it here, but I’m a big fan of sci-fi. I’m more into sci-fi books than into movies. Or at least, as far as movies are concerned, I’m more into the old movies of the 50’s than into the modern big productions with a lot of special effects and sometimes weakness in the scenario. When I decided to re-start stamp collection few years ago, on top of a frog stamp collection I thought about collecting stamps about sci-fi. I must admit that I gave up quite quickly because I realized that there are not so much items related to this topic. Even if I did not really start this collection, I always keep sci-fi related stamps when I happen to get one. Here is one example.

This set has been issued by Great Britain in 1995 as a tribute to Herbert George Well (better known as HG Wells) (1866-1946). HG Wells is one of the most prolific author of his time. He has written some stories that have become famous mainly thanks to the movies that they have inspired. The four stamps of the set illustrate four important themes that are used in sci-fi:

- Time travel is illustrated by “The time machine” written by Wells in 1895. Time travel is a fascinating subject. Can you imagine if you had the possibility to travel through time ? Would you choose to go backwards, to see how people lived in the ancient times ? Or would you choose to explore the future, to see what will be ? In “The time machine” the hero uses the machine to check the future and to see what happens to mankind. And he gets a lot if surprises ! Time travel also creates an interesting paradox : imagine that you go back into the past and by accident you kill your grand-grand-grand-grand-…-grand father while he his still a kid. Then if you ancestor has died in his youth, you will never have the possibility to exist. And if you don’t exist, how could you have come into the past to kill him ? More generally the idea that a time traveller could influence the present by making a change in the past is rather interesting and has been used in a lot of books and movies.


- Space travel is illustrated by “The first men in the moon” written in 1901

- Alien invasion is illustrated by the very famous “The war of worlds” written in 1898. I like the idea of an encounter with aliens. I would not speak about invasion, why would they be hostile ? Are we alone in the universe ? Is there somebody else out there ? When you see the size and the beauty of the universe, if we are alone, well… what a waste !

- Future civilization is illustrated by “Things to come” which is not a novel but a screenplay of a movie written un 1935. It is in fact based on a novel that Wells has written before and called “The shape of things to come”

Among those themes, time travel is my favourite. I have read so many stories built around that.
I have another set of stamps to show you about sci-fi but I will keep it for future post. This one is already long enough…

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