Sure, it’s not a sci-fi novel, but when anything remotely science fiction becomes the cultural zeitgeist it’s cue for me to jump up and down and proclaim that sci-fi isn’t dead. Audiences like it! It’s making a comeback! It’s the next BIG THING!
Of course, none of this is guaranteed (or necessarily probable), though–at least in the world of movies–science fiction is far from dead (Star Trek? Avatar?).
But the other reason I wanted to write about Inception is to point out how much like a book I found it. Maybe it was the exposition-filled first half or the way the film seemed to take its time setting things up for some massively satisfying pay-offs. It’s what all the critics are calling it: smart. It’s something the best novels in the genre have in common. The intricate, detailed plotting reminded me of the Harry Potter books, to quote the most well-known example. It felt like reading a novel. You were rewarded for paying attention.
So here’s the question I’ve been pondering after this comparison popped into my head. In the “you-must-hook-them-with-the-first-word-in-your-first-line-of-your-manuscript” world we live in, how does an author reward the reader’s attention? Or, how can we end up on the right side of that thin line between “smart” and “exhausting/boring/confusing/etc”? I’m not sure I’m expecting an answer here. It’s just something I’ve been thinking about.
Beyond that, I thought Inception deserved its own post simply because it was darn brilliant. And writing-wise, it would’ve been a darn brilliant screenplay to read as well. And what about that ending? (possible spoiler) Spinning or no? I say spinning, but I’ve gotta watch the thing again to be sure.