A Grand Discussion tackling the BIG CONCEPTS of science fiction! John Scalzi already grabbed the 'Big Idea' flag on his own blog :(
- Whenever I find the time to organise it! Sometime in the New Year, when a critical mass of fellow-conspirators have joined up.
- Whoever would like to contribute their comments, but to begin with I'll be getting together with a few like-minded science fiction authors, scientists and engineers, and who knows, perhaps poets and people from other walks of life.
- Each core contributor who has a blog or web page will host one of the Big Concepts, with handy links to all the others.
Too often, the 'sci-fi' that's served up publicly is shallow, badly thought through, or more commonly still, shovelled out mainly for profit, pumped full of special-effects hormones, bloated with worn cliches. One reaches 'The End' often with a sense of deja-vu, or possibly with a sense of 'So what?'
And I say, enough!
Yes, noble gentlepeople of intelligence and wit, for too long your minds have been coddled and your eyes made sore with spurious laser blaster fire and convenient sprints into 'hyperspace'. Too many charred corpses have been strewn gratuitously across the page for no thematic reason; too many gelatinous aliens have parachuted into the plot to save an author's hide.
Now it is our destiny to turn the tide and to raise the bar, focus the lens and hoist the mainsail. Ahem.
As I was saying, the online debate will aim to delve into such questions as...
HUMANITY - What does it mean to be human? Or post-human? Where do you draw the line?
SCIENCE - How does SF interact with Science Fact? How best do I research my technology before writing? Does SF encourage real science or cheapen it?
The goals may be numerous, but I see it as a way for we writers to develop our craft, to think through the science of our fiction, while building much sturdier bridges to the factual world we live in - to use SF as a lens to focus on the issues that concern everybody. The question of 'Hope' interests me greatly: Is science fiction any use to anyone apart from its writers, readers and viewers? Could it help to inspire scientists towards a better tomorrow?
Please note that this is all still a loose cloud of ideas-in-development. And this means that I welcome suggestions and contributions.
Apologies to Randy Stonehill for the loan and tweaking of his song title.