Let’s see what’s going on at other sf sites and blogs.
SFSignal’s latest Mind Meld asks, “Is science fiction responsible for the lack of public interest in space exploration?” The question comes up, of course, because of astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s cranky assertion of just such a relationship between the two. By far the best answer comes from J. Michael Straczynski:
The only thing wrong with Buzz Aldrin’s statement is that it’s not true.
Larry Niven also weighs in with a sensible opinion:
I do not agree. Without the dream, most people would never look up. Most city dwellers would see nothing even if they did. We need the science fiction shows and movies to keep the goal before our eyes–and not just for young people, but for us all.
Crotchety Old Fan takes up the question and comments about how it’s not sf’s fault at all; sf never lost the faith, people did. In his defense of science fiction, he makes the following observation that I’m rather fond of:
I can’t think of a single SF story that advocates for abandoning the future. Certainly there are stories that point out the dangers of venturing into the unknown; more stories that illustrate how the unknown can be perverted and turned to evil ends, even cautionary tales about exploring particular pathways – but every single one of them opens the door and steps through. None of them halt on the doorstep out of fear and trepidation.
Well said! It occurs to me that such a sentiment would have fit in nicely in the context of my recent posts (here, here, and here) about those naysayers who have been criticizing the darkness of science fiction. From the above comment, I get the idea COF might agree with me that those cautionary tales, dystopias, and the like are not something to hold against the genre, but rather are an asset, all part of the business of exploring the future.
Meanwhile, Bill Ward has been showing a lot of appreciation for Ray Bradbury lately, calling him “a living treasure,” which he certainly is, no doubt about it. First, Bill shared this video of a long Bradbury lecture and interview that I mentioned a few months back. Then he took a look at Bradbury’s Zen and the Art of Writing. After that, just in time for Halloween, came Bill’s review of Something Wicked This Way Comes. And the most recent entry in this Bradbury-fest is a review of From the Dust Returned. That’s a lot of good posting about a great author, so if you’re a Bradbury fan, go check it out.
The “All About Books” meme I posted recently was passed to me by Shannon at Books Worth Reading, and now I have done my part to spread it by infecting a couple of others. Both Bill Ward and Omphalos have taken this opportunity to tell us all about their thoughts and preferences about books.