Nature Asks Six SF Authors About the Future of SF

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Madness

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« on: December 29, 2017, 11:52:29 pm »
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2018, 03:55:10 pm »
Interesting article, the bits I scanned through.

Seems that a lot of the responses kind of point out the same thing: that 'science fiction' - especially good/awarded/critically-acclaimed/popular scifi - isn't really about the future but about the present, in that they typically take today's issues and put them in a fictional environment that allows them to be examined.

Basically as my list of read books slowly increases, either scifi or fantasy, these are the patterns that I've observed. Certainly not every book is explicitly or implicitly trying to conquer a particular issue, but a lot of them do. Take a look at the list of 25 or so books that have won both the hugo and nebula award. Many argue that winning both is the highest praise a scifi book can achieve - because Hugo is awarded by a panel of 'experts' and Nebula is awarded by popular vote - and if you've read any or all of them you'll see what I mean. They are good books, some with better writing than others, but most seem to have a 'present day' (at time of writing) issue at their core, which is probably what made them so compelling to both 'experts' and popular among 'the people'.
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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2018, 10:25:26 pm »
Alternatively, though I do agree with your reading as well, those same answers are a call to update the kinds of SF we tell ourselves. We need more SF dealing with contemporary projections, not simply rehashes of possibilities projected from the second half of the last century (and at least half of those six are writing some of the most original SF out there today).
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2018, 03:25:08 pm »
Its kind of like there are two genres that make up Science Fiction.
One that focuses primarily on social issues and their potential impact in the future, and others that are more about technology and how that might change our lives.
Asimov (to name one) being primarily the latter, with someone like LeGuin more the former.
Shades of gray between.
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 03:41:11 pm »
Not necessarily to your point but to add: many authors I've read and read about over the years maintain that much of "quality" SF accentuates one or two things from the present day, whichever direction they express themselves.
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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 04:14:40 pm »
Quality, which it seems most people and critics agree, definitely has that aspect given how the awards are given out.

Something both the cinema industry as well as movie-goers have forgotten: when you center a story around a plot and issues, it makes it more interesting and memorable, compared to those centered around flashy explosions and bad dialogue.
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2018, 04:20:55 pm »
The dearth of original stories in Hollywood is frightening.
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2018, 05:31:18 pm »
The dearth of original stories in Hollywood is frightening.
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 10:15:10 pm »
I expected "better."
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