Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Future is Publishers Weekly

The future is Publishers Weekly. There you can read forecasts about forecasting. Two recent futuristically orientated novels generated author interviews in their fiction preview pages. The first from the February 6 issue of the trade journal, entitled “Sex, Lies and Virtual Reality,” was a talk with a software designer named Michael Olson whose forthcoming novel about the future is called Strange Flesh. Within the interview, conducted by Ken Salikof, reference was made to MMORPG’s or Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games. The question was, will this increasingly be the way humans spend their time and will these “games people play” eventually, as PW’s interviewer asked, “take the place of real sex?” The book is coming out April 3 so you’ll soon be able to find out. The other Q&A with the veteran sci fi writer Kim Stanley Robinson and called "The Future is Fun" appeared in the March 5th PW.  In that interview, Robinson talked about his forthcoming novel 2312 and “a solar system-spanning civilization” which could make possible a romance  “between two people from Mercury and Saturn.” The interviewer, Susan De Guardiola, then tossed him Robinson a zinger. “Do you see parallels between terraforming planets and the intentional self evolution of humanity?” Robinson’s answer was “that we are going to be changing both ourselves and our environment.” Like in the case of the Olson novel, sex ultimately came into play in a return to the “tradition of feminist and utopian science fiction” epitomized by the work of Samuel R. Delany and Ursula K. LeGuin. Robinson’s point was that “science fiction is not just for dire warnings about dystopia or apocalypse, but can celebrate our potential for greatness and joy.” 2312 is no l984 from the sound of it and Strange Flesh, doesn’t sound like Brave New World. If these two novels are any harbingers of the future of science fiction itself, then the days when the purpose of the genre was to blow the whistle on the depredations of the current world (as for instance Orwell's and Huxley's allegories once did) are plainly gone.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.