Tag Archives: evangelism

An outsider’s view: is science fiction obsolete?

Well, I said I wanted outsider views of the genre, and by pure serendipity my Technorati tag feeds supplied one this evening. Read this if you write, edit, market or review science fiction novels and stories, because this is how someone who isn’t tuned into the community sees the scene:

“Another area where the bulk of science fiction seems to be significantly off (but not nearly as obvious as networking and computing) is the development of new space and capitalization. Probably partially because of the failure of NASA to do anything significant in space after Apollo, most of the spacy science fiction is left assuming that most of space development and travel is governmental, when things are looking today like private companies and good old entrepreneurship will be what leads the way. Similarly, too much science fiction fails to see the connections between capitalism and democracy and has governments that are either highly anarchical or huge, bureaucratic, and socialist.

All of this is a considerable shame, because science fiction has been used since Jules Verne as a way to discuss the moral quandaries and implications of up and coming technology and the social institutions surrounding us. While science fiction is rarely spot on with it’s predictions, having virtually all of society take a left turn from the predictions science fiction made opens up a deluge of questions that haven’t even been considered, and makes the ones that have seem silly.”

I know, and I expect that most of you know, that there’s plenty of science fiction (some better, some worse, granted) that addresses the issues mentioned there. Why hasn’t this dude found it? How can we make sure people like him do find it?