Science Fiction is Obsolete

I open my newsreader and am greeted with this blog post which references this article in Discover magazine.

According to them, Science Fiction is Obsolete.

The future is coming too fast. Science “fiction” is coming true before the ink dries on the pages (my words, not theirs). The genre that gave us geosynchronous satellites and cellphones is no longer the driving force for technology and society.

Ummm… huh?

As I said in my comments on the original blog post, SOME people take Scifi just a weeee bit too serious. It is not a religion. It is not a source for social change or technological advances. It is not a determiner of the future. It’s not even a way for brainy authors to show off how much the know about science.

It. Is. Enter-fucking-TAINMENT

Some people get confused when they see the word “science” in the phrase “science fiction.” Let me clarify things for you.

Just because the word “science” comes first doesn’t mean at it is more important than the word “fiction”. In fact, the exact opposite is true. The first word describes the second. Science fiction is fiction FIRST and science… not at all in some cases. Science describes the setting and/or plot elements in a way that’s convenient for people who happen to prefer stories about rocket ships and cloned T-Rexes. That’s IT. Any social, historical, or scientific importance derived from a work of fiction… “science” or not… is an exceptional and perhaps newsworthy curiosity. Does it happen? Yes. Does it happen more often with science fiction than with other genres? Debatable, but I’d argue for yes on that one, too. But that is not the purpose of the genre. Scifi doesn’t exist to do those things. It is not the goal of scifi to change the world or determine what scientific advancements are giving us next. Actual scientists do that. The goal of science FICTION is entertainment. Period. End of sentence.

Now… taking scifi the way it is supposed to be taken (as entertainment) and leaving all the coffee-shop pretentiousness behind… is it obsolete? Can scifi writers continue writing about the “future” when the future is coming true faster than they can write?
The ones with talent can. The ones who are having trouble should just stop and switch to a less taxing genre. Will it be harder to write scifi? Yes. Will they have to do more research in order to sound like they know what the fuck they’re talking about? Yes.

OMG, writing SCIFI is HARRRRRDDDD! The genre is DOOOOMED!

Not.


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