I’ll disagree about the less sci-fi, more fantasy part. Fantasy fed dreamers in the gutters for ages as well. And many of us liked to alternate between dreams of Middle Earth and looking on the stars. The nobility of Tolkien’s heroes appealed to virtue in an era where society seemed quite willing to purge independence and perseverance from us.
Fantasy and Sci-fi traditionally were two parts of the same coin really. Fantasy asked: What price virtue? How far would one go to save what one loved? Would they sacrifice the noble for the personal? Would they put their people above themselves? And that traditional question has been put to the sword by traditional publishers just as much as sci-fi has. The Game of Thrones and its GrimDark minions hacked at all such questions with the cheerless smirk of the nihilist. And the publishing snobs exulted saying, “Here at last is fantasy in a REAL medieval world!”
Sci-fi properly asked, “What price humanity?” Would that be lost in sea of technological progress and increasingly impersonal governance? Well, you’ve hit on what the Ivy League snobs did to it quite well. They don’t believe in technological progress, so they excise it from their stories. They don’t think the impersonal nature of government is a BAD thing, so they relish in faux-diversity enforced by the dictates of our so-called betters. That they produce a vision of the future as joyless as the present the kickers live in is hardly surprising.
I’m not a professional writer. I haven’t pursued the muse in the makings of the craft. I’m an engineer and designer. Because most of my work has been in rather eclectic things, the average person will not encounter what I create, but their lives will be enriched from them through better manufacturing methods and being able to detect toxins in foods. I’m not sure what experiments have been run on the Free Electron Laser, but I imagine that something significant was learned.
In any case I’ve been asking myself why I’ve been devoting so much time to the Hugo Awards, science fiction and the future of science fiction and fandom. Then I saw this.
I think that each and every one of the puppies is to some extent the kid under the stairs. We are the odds that instead of looking inward at our rage, try to look forward for…
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