Monday, August 20, 2007

An optimistic American

At the Group News Blog.

No matter how true it is that things are terrible, you do need some optimists to get things moving in the other direction.

This is how Americans used to talk -- and may again.

Anyone feel like writing some good science fiction?

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Anonymous Retired Tourneyer said...

Anyone feel like writing some good science fiction?

Hardly anyone would read it. SF is about 6% of the fiction market.

12:16 PM  
Anonymous Retired Tourneyer said...

By the way, Mrs Robinson isn't all that optimistic for the short-term. If our current situation is analogous to the late 1920s, we're in for some hard times - as she admits in the comment trail. It's the longer term she's bullish on, and there I wonder if resource depletion isn't going to hold us down.

To write optimistic science fiction, you'd pretty much have to ignore science. Between resource depletion, climate change, pollution, and overpopulation, there isn't much room for science-based optimism. Exponential functions end badly.

The future ain't what it used to be!

6:46 PM  
Blogger Steve Muhlberger said...

The science fiction tradition that is fizzling out now assumed its basic form during the Depression, World War II, and the early days of nuclear fear. The writers of that time didn't say "things are great," but rather, "there are possibilities here."

This is what Mrs. Robinson is doing.

As for recent SF hitting the same tone, K.S. Robinson's Mars series (1990s) has the death of millions due to interplanetary colonial war and global warming, more hard science than Hal Clement, and yet seeds of hope.

The best utopian American SF novel that ever existed. When there is a market for fiction that can take such a stance, it will be a sign of returning mental health. It would be a very good thing for all of us if Americans could again write such stuff, and enjoy it, instead of one more book about the Return of the Half-Elven King, or the Triumph of White Magic. Enough, already.

RT, I am very curious as to who you might be.

7:04 PM  

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