[LMB] Details in Science Fiction

Louann Miller domelouann at gmail.com
Sun Nov 22 18:59:59 GMT 2020


Yep, those can knock you loose from the story. It's easier to see when the
invisible cultural norm is a past one that's changed. (H. Beam Piper: "in
the future, naturally everyone will still smoke everywhere and all the
time.") People writing near-future SF are well advised to, for example, not
go into too much detail on when the Urban Wars of the 21st century happened
or how much memory a computer gadget can hold.


On Sun, Nov 22, 2020 at 12:48 PM Howard Brazee <howard at brazee.net> wrote:

>
> I’m reading two Science Fiction novels right now that illustrated an issue
> with having details in science fiction.
>
> One is the 1962 novel (that I read when it was new), “The Defiant
> Agents”.    The alien artifact that the American found and want to keep
> away from the reds used tapes.   (with recordings of some sort).
>
> The other is the 2020 Hugo winner (which I am enjoying), “A Memory Called
> Empire”, that has an old, interstellar empire —with tea bags and a shower
> with the soaps and stuff that I see in contemporary America.
>
> Detail like that works in contemporary fiction.   And it works when it
> doesn’t mess up in historical fiction.    But needs to be disguised in
> futuristic science fiction.
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