Friday, April 04, 2008

Bringing this meditation back to the original post

Maybe we could use science fiction that is less hard and dark. Maybe the cyberpunk tradition of a frantic, cutting edge future does not have to be the only way to write SF.

I am thinking maybe I should go back to writing stories in my Lydia Duluth series, which are interplanetary adventure yarns, more fun than demanding. When my heroine runs into a really nasty situation, she is able to get out and go safely home. There are safe homes in that future.

This may well be the appeal of Jack McDevitt's novels. They are ripping yarns about a future that is not especially scary. In McDevitt's future there are rubber chicken official dinners and people who sell space age collectables. This seems oddly comforting, as life in North Dakota seems to me when I go to Fargo or Grand Forks.

Patrick goes to Fargo fairly often, because they have a homeless problem. He likes it a lot.

The social disintegration that Marx and Engles and cyberpunk describe is scary. We have too much of it already.

And what the future is like depends on which trends we extrapolate and which surprises we imagine.


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