Thursday, 14 October 2010

Inventions From Science Fiction

A published SF novelist friend of mine went to a writing weekend a short time ago. I was extremely surprised when his feedback to me was that he felt he was not treated as an equal, simply because his genre was science fiction. How odd I thought. He felt that he was treated with disdain and that must have been unpleasant, to say the least. So what would one do in that situation? I think that one of the ways that I would have dealt with this by looking at the benefits that SF has given us, not only the hours of pleasurable reading or of watching films but the literal benefits such as inventions. What, say you? Yup, inventions.

There are many that have come from the realms of Science Fiction, the most obvious being the space programs rockets and so forth. Then there are: electronic book readers (The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy), electronic tags, the hovercraft, mobile phones, robots, electronic hearts (Philip K Dick). What about sliding doors (star trek), Geostationary satellites (Arthur C Clarke), lasers (War Of The Worlds), it was even predicted many years ago that books would be stored in tiny boxes - ergo the memory stick. The list goes on and on.

On top of that one could look at the list of films that have won major awards, beating genres from across the board: Star Wars, 2001 A Space Odessey, Aliens, The Matrix, Blade Runner and The Terminator to name but a few.

So, armed with this I rest my case and tip my hat to the SF writer.

1 comment:

  1. Don't rest your case, Mark! Hah. Ian M Banks was on TV on Saturday saying that SF was the most important genre for writers and readers because it is defined by change unlike other genres. China Mieville slammed the snobs in the literati on the BBC Culture Show last week, especially Margaret Atwood who denies any of her work is SF even though Oryx & Crake obviously is. To me, SF is more important because it allows our imaginations to stretch beyond the mundane.