NEWS

Future of Shadowrun

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The_Gun_Nut

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« Reply #60 on: <12-14-10/0555:32> »
Hear, hear.
There is no overkill.

Only "Open fire" and "I need to reload."

raben-aas

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« Reply #61 on: <12-14-10/0925:26> »
No, Eschenbach doesnt count

And Andreas Eschbach doesn't count because ... ?
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The_Gun_Nut

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« Reply #62 on: <12-14-10/0926:38> »
He doesn't know how?  ;D
There is no overkill.

Only "Open fire" and "I need to reload."

raben-aas

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« Reply #63 on: <12-14-10/0929:17> »
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Frostriese

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« Reply #64 on: <12-15-10/1531:30> »
No, Eschenbach doesnt count

And Andreas Eschbach doesn't count because ... ?
Eschbach, ah, yes, oops. Well, there are certainly worse authors, but I would not call him among truely good sci-fi authors. Thats what I meant.

Sci-fi can't not be about the present, at least the way I was using the phrase. No matter how hard a speculative author tries to determine what the future will be like, he is necessarily looking at it through the lens of the present. There are always unintended, unforeseeable consequences to change, whether technological or social. Even books like the Difference Engine, which take place in an alternate past, are reflective of the time they were written.

More importantly, the characters have to be people that the reader is capable of caring about. So their challenges and values have to be something identifiable to the current reader. We don't even notice a lot of these presuppositions because, being in that society, we take for granted the same things as the authors. The fantastic elements of a sci-fi story are still the vehicles for telling a story. That story has to have some meaning, some emotional reosnance to its audience or what's the point?

You are right in both points, it's just that I feel "sci-fi is truely about the present" is all too often a cheap cop-out. It is certainly true that sci-fi is kind of restricted by the present, since by the very nature of those things we cannot imagine quite all that will happen in the future. However, we should certainly try. There is no shame in having made a wrong prediction in sci-fi as long as thought was invested into it. That I think is what it comes down: Authors have to invest thought about future society, and about future technology besides the usual sci-fi staples. If they turn out to be wrong, hey, its only sci-fi, no big deal. But if they show no social or technological changes at all, then its bad sci-fi. 

raben-aas

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« Reply #65 on: <12-15-10/1546:18> »
Quote
I would not call him among truely good sci-fi authors

Have you read The Carpet Makers, Tor Books, 2005, ISBN 0-7653-0593-3 =
If not, do so (now :) I'm waiting until you're finished)

Dum-de-dum

Done?
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Frostriese

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« Reply #66 on: <12-15-10/1559:25> »
I didnt read it because I already found the summary text to be rather cheesy... Is that even truely science fiction at all?

raben-aas

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« Reply #67 on: <12-15-10/1604:25> »
Problem with reading the summary is that in THIS case, it's a real spoiler. The book starts out as some kind of medieval fantasy, a story aout an old carpetmaker and his family. FRom that, he perspective and dimension of the narration grows more and more, and the final solution comes as a HUGE surprise.

Ah well.

But tell me: Which SF summary does NOT sound cheesy?
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Frostriese

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« Reply #68 on: <12-15-10/1614:43> »
Hrm, I see. Maybe Ill consider it should I encounter it in a book store again.

And:
Quote
But tell me: Which SF summary does NOT sound cheesy?
True enough.