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Thursday, July 29, 2004

Science fiction

There is a Swedish science fiction magazine called Nova, which publishes selections of translated shorter and longer stories. In the latest issue the editor JH Holmberg discusses the fast that a lot of the literature published, that is not classified as a subgenre in some form, like detective stories, fantasy etc actually focuses mostly on relationships between people and very little on what most of us spends most of the time doing; working or doing things related to a special interest. He means that science fiction as a form is more focussed on what people do - achievements, ideas etc. As such it is tempting to put games in parallel to that; the player does things and achieves things in a created universe most of the time.
... O and there was a really nice short story by Terry Carr, "The Dance of the Changer and the Three". On planet mostly consisting of gas the entities living there are patterns of energy, reborn over and over again, changing characteristics and personality, but still being the same individuals. And in another short story, by Michael Swanwick, "Slow Life" the main person communicates with life on Titan. That entity/entities realizes when the main person visits that it is not the only thing in the world, and that it in fact consists of several individuals. One thing that I find so lovely with fiction in the science fiction genre is the rich flora of non-human concepts of personality and how that is characterized. I have some vague memory of that CS Lewis wrote a novel on the theme of the planet as a living entity, it had the word "silent" in the title, and i'm sure I have read at least one or two others on the same theme, but I cant remember the titles. And speaking about non-human characters; the long and lively tradition of evil machines! On the other hand, that theme is usually pretty stereotypic. Either the machine entity wants to be human and grows bitter, that being the motivation for being "evil" - i.e. performing hostile actions towards humans - or the machines just want control, motivation is the usual power struggle. I’m pretty isolated in my work right now (since it is summer and ppl seem to be doing other things), I should order some company. I think I will order novels by Justina Robson. And maybe go to the library to see if there is something by Aasimov I have not read for so long that I have forgotten it. That is the sole bright point of having such a bad memory as I have. I can read books many times, and see movies too, since I have forgotten everything in them. If people in my close environment wouldn’t notice this I would in many cases not even be aware it is the second time I see a movie. A very good thing. So nowadays I try to note down good titles for later re-use.