A lot of people scoff at science fiction, in its various forms (such as movies and books and comics and whatnot) and view it as a kind of bogus play land that has no place in reality, or at least in their 9-5-pick-up-the-kids-from-soccer-practice-and-make-dinner-reality. We all know people like this, people who only read non-fiction and listen to political talk radio and usually go to sleep around ten o'clock and get up around five.
Admittedly, science fiction makes little to no attempt to reach out to these anti-fan boys (except perhaps in summer blockbuster movies, like the Terminator franchise) and often, very often, veers wildly into crazy, unbelievable plot lines, canned dialogue, and other things easily found in the original Star Trek series. Of course, science fiction doesn't care about the people it doesn't reach-its carved out a healthy niche of its own and today, in 2011, the products produced that involve sci-fi have the luxury of playing to its own fan base, not giving a damn about the outside world much as the costumed fans at its own sci-fi conventions don't give a damn about being taken seriously.
Yet, occasionally, reality and science fiction collide, and when they do, the fabric of both worlds seems to warp a little. What I have in mind as I write this are, of course, the surreal and horrifying events occurring in Japan right now. If a month ago I had written a novel foretelling a 9.0 earthquake erupting off the coast of northern Japan, an earthquake powerful enough that it actually shifted the earth's crust to affect the earth's rotation, making one earth day a microsecond shorter, that then created a powerful tsunami with ten foot high waves that ripped across the northern Japan mainland, obliterating almost everything in its path, killing thousands, so many thousands that now thousands of broken and drowned bodies are now, days later, washing back onto Japan's shoreline, creating a corpse removal crisis, while a nuclear power plant has suffered major explosions and is still now trying to avert full-meltdowns in four separate nuclear reactors, using of all things seawater to cool the reactors, and over 350,000 Japanese citizens have been evacuated and forced into homelessness, without enough food or water, and all these events still hang in the balance, would you have believed that book I'd written to be anything more than another unlikely sci-fi romp, and not worth a non-sci fi fan's time?
Yet, here we are, with science fiction invading reality once again, with the fanboys shouting "I told you this could happen!" and the non-fanboys uneasy, the bare bones reality they've come to rely on and love shifting, like the ground itself, beneath their feet.