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George

6 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2007 :  10:56:16  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Somebody said once that all writing is autobiographical, whether the author intends it to be or not. I think that statement is especially true of science fiction because, when a writer gives free rein to his or her imagination, some interesting things may pop out.

For example, anyone who knows anything about the real life of Phillip K. Dick won't find the dark, paranoid and trippy flavors of his stories to be at all surprising. Back during the 1930s, SF readers may not have guessed that CL Moore was a woman, but they must have found the sexual overtones of the brilliant "Shambleau" to be very disturbing if they were coming from a male writer.

It has often been said that science fiction tells us more about our present society than about the future. I think it tells us even more about the writers. Do you agree or am I being too Freudian? Let's have your opinion.

George

specfiction

203 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2007 :  11:29:08  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
I think the best fiction does exactly that. Le Guin once said you tell better truth through lies. The truth part of it is the peronal experiences and insights of the writer. The problem is that truth as the writer sees it may not be that transparent. Sometimes deeper and insightful truths are a function of personal experience before the epthany in question. So the lie part of it is a maded-up senario that shines a light on the particular truth in question.

The value of SF is that it provides greater opportunity for the writer to construct the senario. For example, in His Master's Voice by Lem, a signal from outer space provides the background for examining the subjective nature of science guided by the preconceptions of the all-too-human scientists that construct scientific truths.

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Specfiction
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tamarawilhite

USA
12 Posts

Posted - 04/04/2007 :  15:37:14  Show Profile  Email Poster  Visit tamarawilhite's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Science fiction can be a collective revelation of what our fears of what the world may become, or what we are most afraid of.

Tamara Wilhite/Humanity's Edge
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George

6 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2007 :  11:24:14  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Thanks very much Specifiction and Tamarawilhite for your insights. You've both made excellent points.

Though science fiction writers can't help injecting their experiences into their stories, we have to be careful not to slide into preaching. I wrote a story once from the viewpoint of someone who was female and a devout Christian, though I'm neither in real life. It was an interesting stretch to try to see the world through the eyes of a character whose experiences and beliefs were so very different from my own.

Science fiction is to writing what jazz is to music, a form that allows more freedom than the others.

Is there anyone else reading this forum who has something to add? Let's have your opinions.

George
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