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News Briefs 25-05-2016

Happy Towel Day

Quote of the Day:

Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?

Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

  1. Sf novel
    I don’t think I agree with John Crowley on his definition of a SF novel. The Chemical Wedding is an initiatic tale; and while a SF novel can feature a journey with scientific references, it takes something slightly different to be SF. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is not the first SF novel and shame on the author of this article for his lack of research. Micromegas by Voltaire is often regarded as the first SF work and to me that story pulls from initiation as well. I just feel that initiatic journeys need a separate category. Otherwise Plato would win title of first SF writer with the eighth book of The Republic. Where us the line drawn? Just because it bases itself off off the science of the day doesn’t, in my opinion, define science fiction.

    1. Genie
      It’s easier for me to see examples of “selfish genes” at work in animals than it is for me to see in humans, or rather in some humans. We all know people who haven’t the slightest interest in having children or “perpetuating their family line” though it could be argued that these same people can also be sexually promiscuous and therefore are still bound up in some sort of deferred gene selfishness; but the selfishness could also be regarded as being purely hedonic. Promiscuity in humans can be detached quite readily from any “urge to procreate.” The urge to have orgasms may be a highly mechanistic gene controlled event, but the event is not always inextricably linked to wanting to “pass on your genes.”

      Of course, it could also be argued that the sex urge whether guided by a wanting to actually procreate or not is always at a subconscious level a drive to procreate – its slaves have just developed a work-around – but the fact that humans “can” develop a work-around means they have stepped away from raw evolutionary drives to some extent.

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