Why I barely read SF these days - Charlie's Diary


41 bookmarks. First posted by toby february 2018.


Being a guy who writes science fiction, people expect me to be well-informed about the current state of the field—as if I’m a book reviewer who reads everything…
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9 weeks ago by paryshnikov
Why I barely read SF these days – Charlie's Diary
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february 2018 by jackysee
Why I barely read SF these days - Charlie's Diary
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february 2018 by vonhaller
Being a guy who writes science fiction, people expect me to be well-informed about the current state of the field—as if I'm a book reviewer who reads everything…
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february 2018 by peterwhelan
SF Writer had an essay about related issue on his blog the other day:
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february 2018 by lurrel
You can't write a novel of contemporary life in the UK today without acknowledging that almost everybody is clutching a softly-glowing fondleslab that grants instant access to the sum total of human knowledge, provides an easy avenue for school bullies to get at their victims out-of-hours, tracks and quantifies their relationships (badly), and taunts them constantly with the prospect of the abolition of privacy in return for endless emotionally inappropriate cat videos. We're living in a world where invisible flying killer robots murder wedding parties in Kandahar, a billionaire is about to send a sports car out past Mars, and loneliness is a contagious epidemic. We live with constant low-level anxiety and trauma induced by our current media climate, tracking bizarre manufactured crises that distract and dismay us and keep us constantly emotionally off-balance. These things are the worms in the heart of the mainstream novel of the 21st century. You don't have to extract them and put them on public display, but if they aren't lurking in the implied spaces of your story your protagonists will strike a false note, alienated from the very society they are supposed to illuminate.
scifi  writing  people  blog 
february 2018 by kmt
Why I barely read SF these days by Charlie Stross via Charlie's Diary http://ift.tt/2FRapaC
IFTTT  NewsBlur 
february 2018 by bjtitus
plausible world-building in the twenty-first century is incredibly hard work. (One synonym for "plausible" in this sense is "internally consistent".) A lot of authors seem to have responded to this by jetisoning consistency and abandoning any pretense at plausibility: it's just too hard, and they want to focus on the characters or the exciting plot elements and get to the explosions without bothering to nerdishly wonder if the explosives are survivable by their protagonists at this particular range. To a generation raised on movie and TV special effects, plausible internal consistency is generally less of a priority than spectacle.
Entertainment 
february 2018 by zephyr777
Being a guy who writes science fiction, people expect me to be well-informed about the current state of the field—as if I'm a book reviewer who reads everything…
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february 2018 by zsoltika
Now, what's my problem with contemporary science fiction?

Simply put, plausible world-building in the twenty-first century is incredibly hard work.
sf  sci-fi  writing  fiction 
february 2018 by jomc
Being a guy who writes science fiction, people expect me to be well-informed about the current state of the field—as if I'm a book reviewer who reads everything…
from instapaper
february 2018 by bferg
You can't write a novel of contemporary life in the UK today without acknowledging that almost everybody is clutching a softly-glowing fondleslab that grants instant access to the sum total of human knowledge, provides an easy avenue for school bullies to get at their victims out-of-hours, tracks and quantifies their relationships (badly), and taunts them constantly with the prospect of the abolition of privacy in return for endless emotionally inappropriate cat videos.
scifi  writing  fiction 
february 2018 by chris.corwin
The implicit construction of an artificial but plausible world is what distinguishes a work of science fiction from any other form of literature. It's an alternative type of underpinning to actually-existing reality, which is generally more substantial (and less plausible—reality is under no compulsion to make sense).
fiction  scifi  worldbuilding  writing 
february 2018 by kybernetikos
RT : Why Charles Stross barely reads SF these days -
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february 2018 by rjw1
Being a guy who writes science fiction, people expect me to be well-informed about the current state of the field—as if I'm a book reviewer who reads everything…
from instapaper
february 2018 by pelles
via Starred items from BazQux Reader http://ift.tt/1cAKc9M and IFTTT
Starred  items  from  BazQux  Reader 
february 2018 by stinkingpig
"SF should—in my view—be draining the ocean and trying to see at a glance which of the gasping, flopping creatures on the sea bed might be lungfish. But too much SF shrugs at the state of our seas and settles for draining the local acquarium, or even just the bathtub, instead. In pathological cases it settles for gazing into the depths of a brightly coloured computer-generated fishtank screensaver. If you're writing a story that posits giant all-embracing interstellar space corporations, or a space mafia, or space battleships, never mind universalizing contemporary norms of gender, race, and power hierarchies, let alone fashions in clothing as social class signifiers, or religions ... then you need to think long and hard about whether you've mistaken your screensaver for the ocean."
scifi  books  future 
february 2018 by pierce
Similar to the sad baggage surrounding space battles and asteroid belts, we carry real world baggage with us into SF. It happens whenever we fail to question our assumptions. Next time you read a a work of SF ask yourself whether the protagonists have a healthy work/life balance. No, really: what is this thing called a job, and what is it doing in my post-scarcity interplanetary future? Why is this side-effect of carbon energy economics clogging up my post-climate-change world? Where does the concept of a paid occupation whereby individuals auction some portion of their lifespan to third parties as labour in return for money come from historically? What is the social structure of a posthuman lifespan? What are the medical and demographic constraints upon what we do at different ages if our average life expectancy is 200? Why is gender? Where is the world of childhood? [...]

SF should—in my view—be draining the ocean and trying to see at a glance which of the gasping, flopping creatures on the sea bed might be lungfish. But too much SF shrugs at the state of our seas and settles for draining the local acquarium, or even just the bathtub, instead. In pathological cases it settles for gazing into the depths of a brightly coloured computer-generated fishtank screensaver. If you're writing a story that posits giant all-embracing interstellar space corporations, or a space mafia, or space battleships, never mind universalizing contemporary norms of gender, race, and power hierarchies, let alone fashions in clothing as social class signifiers, or religions ... then you need to think long and hard about whether you've mistaken your screensaver for the ocean.
scifi 
february 2018 by isaacsmith
You can't write a novel of contemporary life in the UK today without acknowledging that almost everybody is clutching a softly-glowing fondleslab that grants instant access to the sum total of human knowledge, provides an easy avenue for school bullies to get at their victims out-of-hours, tracks and quantifies their relationships (badly), and taunts them constantly with the prospect of the abolition of privacy in return for endless emotionally inappropriate cat videos. We're living in a world where invisible flying killer robots murder wedding parties in Kandahar, a billionaire is about to send a sports car out past Mars, and loneliness is a contagious epidemic. (For example, if writing a 2018 story: new media channels lead to a constant barrage of false news generated by state actors trying to produce political change, delivered via advertising networks? Unfortunately, we get this regurgitated in one goddamned space opera after another: spectacle in place of insight, decolorized and pixellated by authors who haven't bothered to re-think their assumptions and instead simply cut and paste Lucas's cinematic vision. Look back two centuries, to before the germ theory of disease brought vaccination and medical hygeine: about 50% of children died before reaching maturity and up to 10% of pregnancies ended in maternal death—childbearing killed a significant minority of women and consumed huge amounts of labour, just to maintain a stable population, at gigantic and horrible social c
february 2018 by sechilds
Being a guy who writes science fiction, people expect me to be well-informed about the current state of the field—as if I'm a book reviewer who reads everything…
from instapaper
february 2018 by alphex
Being a guy who writes science fiction, people expect me to be well-informed about the current state of the field—as if I'm a book reviewer who reads everything…
from instapaper
february 2018 by loganrhyne
I liked “clutching a softly-glowing fondleslab"
s 
february 2018 by jgordon
Why I barely read SF these days via Feedbin Starred Entries for avi@aviflax.com
IFTTT  from:feedbin 
february 2018 by aviflax