Monday, July 29, 2013

Science fiction's 5 best guides to the present

"It's 2013 and there are no bases on Mars or even Luna. We aren't exploring the galaxy at warp speed and, given the impossibility of faster-than-light travel, we never will be," notes Damien Walter in the Guardian. Yet, he adds, science fiction is "the only reliable guide I've found to the weird present we're now all living in."

One of five SF themes that Walter suggests helps us understand the world today--quantum reality:
It's been a full century since quantum mechanics and relativity theory changed our basic understanding of the universe, but most of us are still live our daily lives as though they operated with the clockwork certainty of Newtonian physics. The emerging literary genre of Quantum Fiction tries to shift our scientific understanding into the human realm, and includes novels by Audrey Niffeneger, Douglas Adams and Scarlett Thomas. A list to which I would add M John Harrison's Kefahuchi Tract trilogy, that takes us on a journey across space and time, only to return us to the point where our dreams and flights of imagination impact with the quantum foam at the root of reality.
Read about what Walter has to say about psychic powers in SF and our world today.

--Marshal Zeringue