Good science takes time, but good science fiction hinges on impatience. Why wait for the invention of real technological marvels when you can imagine them yourself or see them on TV? On The Quantum Pontiff, Dave Bacon ponders the formative links between fantasy and reality, spurred by an Intel talk on the possibilities of “fictional prototyping.” He writes, “the creative act of telling a story shares many similarities with the creative act of developing a new research idea or inventing a new technology.” On Built on Facts, Matt Springer compares phasers with lasers, writing “it’s a nice job perk that I can see old science fiction tropes come to life pretty much every day.” On Aardvarchaelogy, Martin Rundkvist says there are two ways of writing SF: either you use current scientific knowledge to write an explanation that “sort of makes sense,” or you use “technobabble” to dazzle your readers with made-up vocabulary. Do neither and, like author Dan Simmons, you will be ridiculed. Finally, travel back in time for an article by Chad Orzel on Uncertain Principles, where he considers the long-running role of mysticism in SF, and notes that the genre “has broadened considerably over the last few decades.”
Links below the fold.
- Science Fiction Prototyping on The Quantum Pontiff
- Seeing Laser Beams on Built On Facts
- Dan Simmons’s Scientific Let-Down on Aardvarchaeology
- Mysticism and SF on Uncertain Principles