It’s interesting to look at how science fiction has evolved over the past 120 years or so. I have wondered whether the increasing complexity of technology and perceived need to break out from oft-repeated story concepts are leading to a marginalisation of science fiction, due to the ‘need’ to cater to the harshest critics of science fiction, uber-geeks who can understand the concepts involved, at the expense of the general reading public.
The near-tautology of speculating on the future of science fiction is an interesting one, and a couple of weeks ago New Scientist hosted a feature on that very topic:
These days, science can be stranger than science fiction, and mainstream literature is increasingly futuristic and speculative. So are the genre’s days numbered? We asked six leading writers for their thoughts on the future of science fiction, including Margaret Atwood, William Gibson and Kim Stanley Robinson.
Plus, we review the latest sci-fi novels, highlight the writers to watch and reveal the results our poll of your all-time favourite sci-fi films and books.
With an introduction by Marcus Chown, the feature is definitely worth checking out if you’re at all interested in the genre. Coincidentally, around the same time PBS also ran a feature on how the science fiction pulps are struggling to survive (rather ironically) in the modern world of free content on the Internet.
This year I’ve been revisiting many of my science fiction favourites of my youth, as I stopped reading fiction for quite a long while. Anybody got good recommendations for some quality ‘modern’ reads?