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  • Writer's pictureMark Meier

Science Fiction . . . Pandering?

(Science Fiction author Terry Hill): One of the items that I have a growing opinion about in the world of writing is my perception that more and more writing in the sci-fi and speculative fiction genres are moving toward a pandering of simple entertainment and the reader with a short attention span. Perhaps this is just the words of a man becoming comfortable with the crotchetiness of my future self, but it feels as if the industry is moving away from the roots of these genres which were always the proving grounds of addressing significant culture issues in an environment extrapolated at safe distance without causing a defensive reaction in the reader. Writing in sci-fi and speculative fiction should be about expanding the reader's views, testing the norms of which they’re comfortable, speculating about other lifeforms, and wondering at what might be possible - all with a healthy dose of philosophy. And the themes across the industry tended to reflect the overall cultural movement and of the ethical issues of which we struggle. For the last decade much of the aforementioned genres have been fixated in apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic futures (myself included) and we have lost sight of the bright, shiny futures full of excitement and unbounded possibility. I think it is important for us as a space-faring society to get back to envisioning the future with the best of what humanity can bring, a future where we did right for the Earth, a future where our species lived up to the best of its potential. So today, I throw down the gauntlet down and challenge my other authors to start building the world we want our grand kids to live in, and get back to the root of these genres which challenged the norm. :-)

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Steven Lyle Jordan
Steven Lyle Jordan
Aug 03, 2018

I was just thinking about this very subject, having been dressed down by a sci-fi fan for examining the concept of humanoid robots and finding them wanting. A great deal of SF's most popular tropes today are 50+ year old concepts, born of the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution and the post-WWII era, and the idea of seriously examining the more modern possibilities brought to us by science, technology and social development have fallen by the wayside in popular media.

Does that mean writers like ourselves should pander to the largest common denominator? Well, if all you want is to collect some of the LCD's money... and if you can stand it... go ahead. I, myself, have written a f…

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