Sunday, October 26, 2008

from Gizmodo: My Favorite Childhood Sci-Fi Author Fries My Brain


There's a great two-part interview over on Gizmodo (part two) with Bruce Coville, author of My Teacher is An Alien, My Teacher Flunked the Planet, and many other YA sci-fi books. (Part Two is much more in-depth about the books, and less about the science and technology)

I've never been an especially big fan of sci-fi, but My Teacher Flunked the Planet has stuck with me over the years, and it comes up in conversation all the time, even today! To put it simply, I remember these books as one of the first times that I ever really thought about humanity. It pointed out so many things that my ten-year-old self wasn't aware of, from the tragedy of war to selfishness in the face of global food shortages, to our simple neglect of our planet and it's well-being. Sure, the books are full of futuristic technology, ugly aliens, and crazy plot lines, but they had an underlying message of caring and humanity that I really think transcends the genre.

Here's my favorite passage from the Interview, which really sums up what I took from the books:

The underlying theme of the My Teacher series seems to be, “Man’s brain may be bigger than his heart.” We’re capable of technological advancements that we’re not ethically ready to handle.

I really like how you put that, though I would change it slightly: “Man’s brain is bigger than he allows his heart to be.”

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