Every single person reading this has a ridiculous skeleton somewhere in their closet. Whether it’s a complete collection of Batman Forever trading cards lovingly stored in plastic sleeves, an 8th-grade notebook of sincere but awful poetry that should be burned, or files of fanfic about you and Data. And Jayne Cobb. And Batman. At the same time.
Truth is, life is silly. Honesty is embarrassing. Feelings are awkward. Sex is goofy. Optimism is childish. Dreams are mad. Passion is embarrassing. Fandom is geeky.
And also utterly wonderful.
I love science fiction, even when it isn’t sophisticated or especially realistic. The toilet plunger arm on Daleks. The green body paint on Star Trek alien chicks. The cinnamon buns on the sides of Princess Leia’s head. The entire first season of Babylon 5.
I love fantasy and fairy tales. Talking animals. Pointed ears. Kissing a dead girl to bring her back to life. Half-sized people with hairy feet.
I love steampunk. It doesn’t have to be historically or even mechanically accurate. Decorative gears that don’t actually do anything. Goggles that are nothing more than hatbands. Corsets as outerwear. Nerf guns covered with metallic paint.
I love romance. Throbbing love hammers. Cherry-tipped nips. Damp nethers. Straight men who spend weeks worrying about what a woman is thinking.
Fan or creator, you can’t take this stuff 100% seriously. Deep down, you’ve got to acknowledge the absurdity of it all. Then love it anyway. Because this is who we are. We are goofballs. Hairless apes full of nonsense and monkeyshines. And anyone who says otherwise is probably a hypocrite in possession of either a giant collection of adorable but useless porcelain statues, or memorabilia from a pastime that involves grown men chasing after a bit of stuffed animal skin like it was the Holy Grail.
Myself, I’m a fan of Highland romance. Big men with kilts and bad accents. Can’t get enough. I’m also madly in love with Skyrim, even though it’s a video game and having feelings for pixels is mental. And I’m a huge fan of the movie Hawk the Slayer (1980), low budget, disco soundtrack, Silly String special effects and all. It’s available on Netflix, last time I checked. Go watch it and laugh with me. My laughter isn’t derisive, just honest.
What ludicrous books, movies, games and things do you love? Dare to share?
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J.L. Hilton is the author of the Stellarnet Series published by Carina Press, including Stellarnet Rebel (January 2012) and Stellarnet Prince (November 2012), and is a regular contributor to the Contact-Infinite Futures blog. She also creates cool wearable things that are featured in the books Steampunk Style Jewelry and 1000 Steampunk Creations. Visit her at JLHilton.com or follow her on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads and deviantART.