geekery

Are markets overlooked in fiction?

Last week I was putting together a blog post (should be up today with me posting as my alter ego) on Farmers Markets for this great new blog (Back to Basics) and it got me to thinking that the market experience is as overlooked in fiction as it is in real life. I love going to the Farmer’s Market for many reasons, but the whole experience harkens back to simpler times. These days it is just a fringe thing, but once upon a time a good market was the center of community life. Why don’t we see markets more in fiction? I can think of lots of creative ways to use markets in fiction—and yes even in SciFi.

The now cancelled show, Terra Nova used a market for many of the character interactions. And just think of Quark on Star Trek Deep Space Nine.  He was one of the best characters on that show and the promenade (or market) where his little place was located was likewise an essential place for information brokering. I can easily see space travelers on a strange new planet hitting the market for a little intel.

Recently, I went to the market with my gal-pal and fab author Abigail Sharpe, and she got quite the lecture on honey and how weather, flooding, and such had effected the harvesting of certain types of honey.  It’s not the first time we’ve had farmers give us the low down on their crops.

So, anyone know of any SciFi that makes good use of a market? I’d love to hear about it!

8 thoughts on “Are markets overlooked in fiction?

    • Voyager used markets quite a bit. They were forever exploring new worlds and trying to trade for supplies. Lots of good stuff happened that way. I remember one planet were strong emotions where not aloud and some rebels incited one of Baylona’s outbursts in the market. Good stuff!

  1. I don’t use a market per se in Planet Janitor, but I do use a space port bar as the crew’s home away from home. It’s a place where they interact, plan their next missions, relive old missions and memories, entertain themselves, and pick up on the latest intel about what’s happening in the inner and outer systems. It does serve as grounding place or a hub for anything business related. Any transactions or contracts are usually held and signed there. It’s also a place where they can get into a lot of trouble if they give their wild side free reign.

  2. I can’t think of any series offhand Star Trek was always good about using markets in their various incarnations of the series.

    PS Thanks again for visiting my blog. I learned something a valuable tip about farmers markets. :)

  3. Great post! These are my favorite markets, though they might not be strictly Science Fiction.
    The Troll Market in Hellboy 2. Director Guillermo del Toro is a visionary.
    The Floating Market in Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. The fact that someone has to be sacrificed so that someone else can get there is an added perk.
    And, though it’s not really Sci-Fi, I love the poem ‘Goblin Market’ by Christina Rossetti. It has inspired generations of creepy characters, including in my opinion, Quark.

Comments are closed.