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science fiction, what's that about, then? (part whatever it is) - The Villages — LiveJournal

hutch0
Date: 2008-04-28 23:01
Subject: science fiction, what's that about, then? (part whatever it is)
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Location:the utility room in the sky
Mood:calmcalm
Music:bjork
Some time ago, back before the PreCambrian Explosion, when it was just me and Jean Marie and Selkie and the (even then sadly-LJless) OJM rattling around here, with occasional interjections by Lou Anders and brisingamen and peake (remember those days, guys? Before all these boisterous folk started moving in?) I posted a few rather clumsy and embarrassing rants about the state of science fiction today and my rather namby-pamby views on it.
Well, I'm indebted to Neal Asher for pointing me at this article by Richard Morgan (whose novel Black Man I'm currently enjoying enormously) which addresses a few of the points I sort of approached but veered away from. I think the man talks a lot of sense. Any thoughts?
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calcinations
User: calcinations
Date: 2008-04-29 17:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I found "Altered Carbon" to be dull and pointless and never got more than half way through it, so have never read anything else by Richard Morgan. He does rather make sense in that article though.


It occured to me last night, as I looked at a Sunday Herald article in which the journalist was talking about peak oil, that I was moderately inured to future shock because I have read a lot of SF. After reading everything from Aldiss to Macleod to Haldeman to Clarke to Dick to Stross to Le Guin, I feel like I've seen so many possibilities that actually the reality doesn't bother me.

Which is of course what SF is about. I think it is about exploring possibilities of reality, science, society and individuals, in a story, with at least a nod to rigour and structure.
Does that statement make any sense to people. I think it is the equivalent of detective stories "person finds mystery, solves it" theme.
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calcinations
User: calcinations
Date: 2008-04-29 17:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Or to put it shorter, SF is about what if...

What if people were telepathic?

What if there had been world war 3?

What if we managed to invent hyperdrive in 1945?

What if aliens from another dimension popped by and tried to eat our brains?

Hmmm, I wonder if you can sum up all SF plots as "What if.."?
Anyone want to give it a go?
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-04-29 22:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I like the hyperdrive idea. I could do things with that.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-04-29 22:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
No, that makes perfect sense. At least, it sounds like the way I look at science fiction.
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