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mark211Can Science and Fantasy Fiction change the way society thinks? 2014-10-19 01:13:18
mark211In his New Yorker article "Our Greatest Political Novelist?" from 12 December 2013, Tim Kreider makes the following claim: 2014-10-19 01:13:31
mark211"Science fiction is an inherently political genre, in that any future or alternate history it imagines is a wish about How Things Should Be (even if itís reflected darkly in a warning about how they might turn out). And How Things Should Be is the central question and struggle of politics."2014-10-19 01:13:41
mark211This is certainly true of Orwell's '1984' for example, but how do you feel about all this? Do you enjoy Science and Fantasy Fiction that has clear political themes? Or do you feel that political themes are a distraction from the pleasure inherent in reading and writing? 2014-10-19 01:13:49
jessbaumI love stories that make me think. Cautionary tales, stories with a moral, and everything in between make reading more beneficial to me because they're not just throwaway entertainment. "1984" is a great example, the ending is so chilling much like "Animal Farm." Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" is another political themed book that I will never forget. Sure sometimes you just want to read some fun fluff but the writings that really stick with us are usually the ones that have something truly worthwhile to say no matter what genre they are listed as.2014-10-19 12:56:49
r.tornelloMany of the things I write have a socio-political bent to them. I enjoy that more than fluff. 1919 is one, and now considering the new research on brain death, it is more so. Blow Back is another where one factor is dealing with bullies and the affect even after decades.Another is political manipulation of society. That's just 2/3. Even in my fun stories sometimes the character names have all the meaning that I want to hint at. Science fiction can be social/hardscience/what-could-be-if, fiction.2014-10-20 11:25:32
mark211This is a bit of a sweeping statement, and a little vague I admit, but if the politics comes before the narrative then it tends to really irritate me and I lose interest. '1984' has been criticised for being overtly political and I know what people mean (obviously) but that end chapter where O'Brien talks about a boot stamping on a human face forever - that to me is seriously powerful and absolutely part of the story. I think the ones I can't deal with is where the writer sees their political message as more important than the plot, characters and so on and so you just end up with a very poorly written political tract. I read one of those recently but can't find it now (otherwise I'd say who did it).2014-10-21 02:20:14
mark211Richard: I think your comments about the story 'Blowback' are interesting because to me that story has an ethical rather than a political theme (admittedly, those two things do overlap). How humans adapt their moral framework to new worlds is always intriguing - 'Lockdown' by Quantum Muses's very own Tim Goyette features what I would think of as an ethical more than a political dilemma. Anyway ... 2014-10-21 02:23:46
r.tornelloIf one considers some religious beliefs, "Fantasy Fiction", then yes it can change the way society thinks.2014-10-21 10:28:31
mark211Well, that's certainly one way of looking at it! 2014-10-22 09:55:22
r.tornelloAnd that has broad implications pointing to mass sociopolitical hypnosis, or if you will, the suspension of reality in everyday living (see Plato and the cave for an original take on this concept of appearances and effects).2014-10-22 11:52:33
esullivan240Heinlein changed me. No question. Hands down the biggest modern philosophical factor in my life without question.2014-10-22 12:36:32
r.tornelloa book changer for me was Catch 22. Each tie I read it I get more from it. The first time was in 10th grade I fell off the bed laughing so hard. It's not that funny any more and yet it is. The eyes and mind that wrote that saw things in a totality that I have not read since.2014-10-25 04:48:14
mark211Catch-22 is indeed a most marvellous guide to modern times.2014-10-25 07:04:29
jessbaumI still need to read Catch-22 it is on my list!2014-10-25 14:19:09
r.tornelloJess: he caught the essence of American capitalism, and the whole of our current bureaucratic disfunction back then, for example (many) M&M Enterprises putting profit for the Syndicate before everything, and the convoluted reasoning that foreshadowed the same logic we (me) hear today, the absolute boldface lies spewed from politicians of all political colors and persuasion and more. But done in such a manner that to me is timeless and can probably superimposed upon any historical entity within the structure of whatever entity is in question. 2014-10-25 19:22:30

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