Friday, October 23, 2009

The War on Science Fiction

Speaking of science fiction! I came across an article from The Spearhead called The War on Science Fiction and Marvin Minksy. It was so awesome I had to take several days to process it, or at least that's the excuse I'm using for now.

It starts out promising:

Science fiction is a very male form of fiction. Considerably more men than women are interested in reading and watching science fiction. This is no surprise. Science fiction traditionally is about men doing things, inventing new technologies, exploring new worlds, making new scientific discoveries, terraforming planets, etc. Many men working in the fields of science, engineering, and technology have cited science fiction (such as the original Star Trek) for inspiring them when they were boys to establish careers in these fields.

Okay. Sure. Science fiction is great and inspiring. Unfortunately, now boys won't get that inspiration because of the feminization of the genre. There are girls in space now and that just isn't cool, okay? Girls in space mean relationships and talking and fewer lasers.

Pro-Male/Anti-feminist Tech (that's the name on the byline of this article) quotes Marvin Minsky, a leading AI researcher at MIT. Minsky says,

General fiction is pretty much about ways that people get into problems and screw their lives up. Science fiction is about everything else.

I find that statement false; science fiction deals with the problems people make. Science fiction has held a mirror to modern problems with a setting of the fantastic. Racism, communism, ecology, cautionary tales... science fiction is the perfect forum for all these things.

All is not lost, however:

There is still a great deal of written science fiction that is real science fiction, so all is not lost. However, many boys who would have gone on to make scientific discoveries and invent new technologies will not do so since they will never be inspired by science fiction as boys.

Thank goodness for books! Science is saved! Just don't read any Honor Harrington books.


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