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  • Showing only topics with the tag "science fiction". Back to normal view
    1. Science fiction that presents immortality in a good light?

      It seems incredibly common in works of science fiction that touch upon technological immortality to focus on every possible way that such a technology could go wrong, create problems, or worsen...

      It seems incredibly common in works of science fiction that touch upon technological immortality to focus on every possible way that such a technology could go wrong, create problems, or worsen social dynamics.

      Among the negative outcomes that have attained trope levels of frequency, off the top of my head, I can name the following:

      1. Immortality becomes available only to the ultra-wealthy, allowing them even more power to abuse everyone else, leading immortal people to be antagonists in a pretty generic dystopian plot.

      2. Immortality subtly twists the morality of its beneficiaries, causing them to lose sight of "the real meaning of life" according to the author's worldview, and the protagonist usually fights for society to recognize how important death and endings are

      3. Immortality causes people to go insane, become monsters, or otherwise utterly lose their humanity (this is more of an extreme version of case #2, but I feel it's distinct in the way a story plays out)

      4. Immortality ultimately leads to the extinction of the human species due either to biological effects of the immortality technology in question, or due to cultural/societal shifts that lead people to stop reproducing

      I'm sure there are many others that I'd recall if prompted, but my point is that I don't think I can name any science fiction that involves immortality technology that doesn't also decry it as ultimately a harmful development.

      Are there any works of science fiction that any of you can think of that do more to celebrate the idea or look forward to it with some optimism?

      16 votes
    2. Dune thoughts and adaptation

      I can understand why the journey to make this into a film is so convoluted. I'm not sure I've ever read anything so dense and epic. I was always sort of keen to the series, and always thought the...

      I can understand why the journey to make this into a film is so convoluted. I'm not sure I've ever read anything so dense and epic. I was always sort of keen to the series, and always thought the worm god was just cool imagery. So I did have kind of an internal motivation to get this far, but now that I'm about to dive into God Emperor, I just feel bad for anyone that called it quits after the first book. Frank Herbert had a lot to say, and faithfully adapting this to any kind of screen, I think, is impossible.

      9 votes
    3. Down to earth, present or near-future, science or science fiction stories featuring space?

      I just finished binging The Habitat, the awesome podcast about NASA's simulated mission to Mars. And I'm feeling the urge to read something along those lines: fiction or true stories and indulge...

      I just finished binging The Habitat, the awesome podcast about NASA's simulated mission to Mars. And I'm feeling the urge to read something along those lines: fiction or true stories and indulge my fascination with space (and things coming from it) and how that relates to contemporary imagination.

      Any suggestions?

      11 votes
    4. Sci Fi trends over the decades

      I've just finished The Sirens of Titan from 1959 (after seeing it recommended here, actually) and something struck me compared to more recent books. A lot of the more technical stuff is kind of...

      I've just finished The Sirens of Titan from 1959 (after seeing it recommended here, actually) and something struck me compared to more recent books. A lot of the more technical stuff is kind of hand-waved away. It's not a criticism, just something that stuck out as I was reading. Is this a trend? Do readers demand more details these days? I've read a bunch of sci fi from the 60s until the present day, but I've only really gotten back into it more recently with Sirens.

      Perhaps I've read too much Neal Stephenson, who has likely never hand-waved anything away! The Martian also springs to mind, but that's very deliberately focused on the details and keeping it realistic, IIRC.

      Spoilers

      I'm mostly thinking about the radio-controlling of the Martian army beyond "there is a little box in their pocket" and most of the atmospheric questions beyond how they breathe.

      13 votes