Avast! Thar be spoilers ahead!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Word About Genre: Mundane Sci-Fi

What a wonderful aberration of science fiction that I have just discovered! It is sci-fi based on this planet with only the technology we have, without the fantasy of speed-of-light travel or parallel universes. I find it strange how excited I am by Sci-Fi that completely lacks fantasy, but I am. If you wanted to map this on the hard/soft sci-fi continuum, it would be all the way over to the hard side with accurate science, although that does not preclude the possibility of soft science themes.

Is this even sci-fi? I am not sure. Fantasy seems to be such an intrinsic part of the genre. But if this is fiction about or heavily influenced by science or fiction about where current technology can take us, then it must be sci-fi, right? The Cold War inspired numerous sci-fi stories of possible impending doom as nations play a deadly game of one-ups with weapons. Those were certainly science-fiction.

I suppose The Twilight Zone has a few examples. There was an episode called 'Where Is Everybody?' in which a man finds himself in an uninhabited town except there is lingering evidence of someone having just been present (i.e. a lit cigarette in an ashtray). It turns out that this is a dream or hallucination caused by prolonged sensory deprivation. A little wiki-sluething has revealed that this was the first episode of the series! Facts are fun.

This seems to have riled up quite a large section of the sci-fi world but I am intrigued by the possibilities it offers in literature.

Since I have not read any mundane sci-fi, at least not knowingly, I cannot offer my own opinions, analysis or even a reading list. Instead I offer you a link to this blog about Mundane Sci-Fi.

No comments:

Post a Comment