June 23, 2009
Excuses For Not Writing Optimistic Science Fiction
UPDATE: Changed the title of the post to emphasise that the post was a list of excuses for NOT writing optimistic Science Fiction (as pointed out by Jetse in the comments; don't send him dystopian stories!)
Jetse De Vries is editing a new optimistic Science Fiction anthology called Shine. It's a great idea and it's stirred up all sorts of unrest and reactions in the SF writing community. In a recent post he lists the excuses for not writing an optimistic SF story, I urge to to go and read the full post but here's the summary:
- (Deliberately) misinterpreting the meaning of 'optimistic SF'.
- Optimism is not realistic.
- You cannot predict the near future exactly, so you might as well not try.
- There is no possibility for conflict in a full-on optimistic future.
- I can't do it because we live in dire times.
- My downbeat SF story is meant as a cautionary tale.
- I will not confirm to your positivist agenda: nobody tells me what to write.
And Jetse has great answers to all of these excuses.
My excuse is: I've been trying and it's really bloody hard! I'm now on my fourth attempt at something reasonable and interesting and a plausible(ish) extrapolation. I think this time I may be on to it. But the three months I've been trying to write optimistic stories are not enough, I have a feeling that it's a life times work. I'm not going to give up though.
And I can't wait to read the anthology.