back out in the cold

Some forms of SF are becoming irrelevant not because we’re living in “the future” but because, with the rise of gadgetopia over the last decade or so, science has begun to directly claim its place in the spectacle. In another ten years, with less need for publicity partners, shared branding may be over as far as the major stakeholder is concerned. But this could be an advantage. No longer a junior partner in the TED/SciArt project–no longer limited to proselytising, cheerleading & pegagogic duties, & owing no one anything in the way of intellectual fealty–science fiction could return to one of its shadowier, guiltier, more fulfillingly imaginative relationships with the concept of knowledge. SF writers could rediscover the freedom of being unapproved outsiders working in a space which precisely isn’t an internet teaching aid.

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Filed under o wow how cool is that, science fiction

4 responses to “back out in the cold

  1. Or is it that the polloi have finally understood science in all its forms is not something that happens out there, but is integral to our everyday and humdrum lives? Imagine: CP Snow’s Two Cultures laid low by Pokemon.
    I could never abide hard science scifi as it smacked too much of train spotting on a wet Autumn day, with a thermos of Bovril, cheese sandwiches and a Joe Lyons fruit pie.

  2. uzwi

    Well you know a Joe Lyons fruit pie had its points. Whatever happened to them ?

  3. James

    Well stated, Mike. I was thinking about this the other night while out walking the dog. She, my dog, kept stopping to sniff this and that, while I absent mindedly kept checking my phone. Apparently, we both have our own social networks. Suddenly, I thought about how otherworldly the Sandmen’s phones seemed the first time I saw “Logan’s Run” and how lo-tech they are now.

    Demystification like that can be a big distraction from the actual story. Hopefully, some of the great stories that we already have don’t get tossed aside because the author didn’t “get it right.”

  4. martm

    The unapproved future – I remember it well, phones and all: