July 20, 2013

Science and Science Fiction Books when Combined Create Great Works

In the first special science fiction issue released by the New Yorker, a new level of mainstream interest in science fiction was developed, giving a whole structure of New-Yorker obsessed avid readers go signal to take genre fiction. The said issue has included contributions from genre experts like Ursula K. Le Guin and Ray Bradbury and the rising “literary fiction” stars like Junot Diaz and Karen Russell.

In her contribution, Le Guin claims that in the past, very few people recognized expulsion from the Republic of Letters to the ghetto of genre. “Perhaps because ghettos, like all gated communities, give the illusion of safety”, Le Guin further noted.

Subsequently, science fiction has been sneaking into all types of new neighborhoods. In fact, the U.K.-based New Scientist previously launched Arc with a tag line as “a new magazine about the future”. On the other hand, the honorable MIT Technology Review also released a special issue of science fiction that includes featured articles from Cory Doctorow, Joe Haldeman and several others. Meanwhile, Ridley Scott’s hit television series, Prophets of Science Fiction, explores the power of fiction to purposely advance and complicate people’s ideas about the future, while Stephen Hawking is hosting the Science Channel’s Stephen Hawking’s Sci-Fi Masters.

Surprisingly, what is notable about the above-said items is not due to the science fiction that suddenly enters the mainstream. People now see the same not only as a way to escape from the dreadful reality but also as a tool for learning new things about the real world.Moreover, the Arizona State University dared to invest in the role of science fiction to create positive changes in several different ways. The university also hosted a noteworthy three-day event, Emerge, which focused on the idea of what they called “design fiction” last March. The event brought together science fiction book writers and thinkers from many fields including luminaries Stewart Brand, Bruce Mau, Sherry Turkle, Bruce Sterling and Neal Stephenson. The participants developed visions of the future ranging from the corner convenience store to an interactive performance that combines live digital music and dance. Consequently, the event showcased some surprising encounters with the future through the use of science fiction. A combination of the spell of the good science fiction story with the tactile appeal of physical objects actually took the spotlight of the event.

The university hopes that the said collaboration would serve as a starting point for a module on structural engineering or could be a prompt for creative writing in a science communication class perhaps. Such innovations explore questions like “what” and “how”. It likewise prompts students to ask “why”.

Apparently, science fiction turned out to be a great educational tool for getting people to think seriously about what to likely expect in the future. It definitely feels great to think about the future with flying cars, no problems and trash-free streets. It is not just about thinking about what the technology of the future would have to offer. It is also about figuring out how the society with blind spots and ethical challenges would face such highly elevated future. Eventually,it leaves a puzzle for everyone whether the human force will be able make the world better or worse.

For experts, the phrase “why” is the major engine that drives good science and good science fiction books in general. They also believe that science fiction can be a common language to connect the arts, humanities and science in the future.

About the author:

K. T. Jae is a London-based science fiction writer. The British author’s debut novel, Riddle of the Red Bible which was released last year, deals with time travel and the paranormal. Follow K.T Jae on twitter to know more about the book.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds good, i would like to read this book. Thank you for the review.


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