15 July 2007

Is Sci/Fi dead?

God I hope not, and I'm not even the hugest sci fi reader. (I prefer mainstream, fantasy, and cozy English mysteries, of all things.)

Some people think the evidence points in the direction of death though: slow sales, sci/fi sold under alternate genre names, fewer submissions. I believe as long as humans are interested in their world, there is a place for sci/fi stories. However, I think that interest is changing. I read on a recent blog comment thread how people are bored with technology and so are bored with sci/fi. Really, with the information storing capabilities of today, it's an easy (and somewhat dull) leap to consider the capabilities of tomorrow. And definitely, I think we are bored with the sci/fi trope that as much as technology changes, people stay the same.

But what if we don't? How does technology change us? Right now popular trope seems to be about how it changes us for the worse--but how about for the better?

However, I think there are greater leaps to be made than storage tech, jet packs ,and even the human condition. I'm no scientist, but I've never believed that science does anything less than prove what a miraculous world we live in. Even so, there are steps to be made beyond exploring the human condition. One way might be to linktechnology and science to the unexplained/supernatural/spiritual realm that so many of us believe exists. I've never thought the two of them were mutually exclusive (think even beyond Ghosthunters), and I think it'd make a fascinating premise for new fiction. Taking it a step further, wouldn't it be cool to write fiction that could bridge the gap between chasms of disagreement like creationism and evolution?

Most people agree that sci/fi speaks to the hope for the future we all have, but our future is not only about scientific advances. It's about the people involved in them and the ways science can positively affect our lives. Rectifying science with seemingly contrary beliefs (even in fictional, metaphorical worlds with fictional science and beliefs) could provide an exciting new direction or sub-genre for sci/fi--so long as it maintains human terms.

1 comment:

lesleylsmith said...

IMHO, the death of SF is BS. The world and LIFE are SF these days! :)