Culturesciencefiction

Tue Dec 4, 2018, 08:52 AM

What our science fiction tells about us

The sun has cooled down and Earth has become uninhabitable. Only one solution remains for humanity: flee beyond the solar system. This is the premise for The Wandering Earth, and the movie could easily be a Hollywood blockbuster. The trailer even has Inception-esque foghorns. Yet this isn’t a US movie with an all-white cast, it’s the Chinese adaptation of a science fiction book of the same name by star writer Cixin Liu. It’s the Chinese who are saving humanity here, not the Americans.

Well-known artistic depictions of the future have traditionally been regarded as the preserve of the West, and have shown a marked lack of diversity. Yet new regions and authors are depicting the future from their perspectives. Chinese science fiction has boomed in recent years, with stand-out books like Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem. And Afrofuturism is on the rise since the release of the blockbuster Black Panther. Around the world, science fiction is blossoming.

“Science fiction is now a global phenomenon,” says Mingwei Song, Associate Professor at Wellesley College, specialising in Chinese sci-fi and literature. “This has been one of the most remarkable developments of the genre because it transcends this Western and particularly Anglo-American domination of the genre.”

And the new movement is wide-ranging, including everything from Russian science fiction – with a history reaching back into the 19th Century – to Afrofuturism, a movement rooted in experiences of black oppression. It covers Chinese books dealing with revolutionary history and aliens, to futurist Mexican movies about migration and free trade.

http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20181203-what-our-science-fiction-says-about-us

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Reply What our science fiction tells about us (Original post)
Agent_86 Dec 4 OP
orson Dec 4 #1
Agent_86 Dec 4 #2
orson Dec 4 #3
Tovera Dec 4 #4
rampartb Dec 4 #5

Response to Agent_86 (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2018, 09:14 AM

1. I just finished The Three Body Problem

and I read Ball Lightning, also by Liu. The Chinese perspective is interesting. Liu's orientation is more scientific than humanistic and the writing is a bit dry. I haven't seen any Russian sci-fi but I'll keep an eye out. Good post.

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Response to orson (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 4, 2018, 09:17 AM

2. I haven't read any SciFi in years so much of this is news to me.

Have a good day.

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Response to Agent_86 (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 4, 2018, 09:49 AM

3. If you're interested

I recommend Vernor Vinge's A Fire on the Deep or pretty much anything by Neal Stephenson.

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Response to orson (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 4, 2018, 01:54 PM

4. Good picks...to which I would add:

The entire series of "Culture" novels by Iain M Banks, most anything by Charlie Stross or Alastair Reynolds, and CJ Cherryh (although I'm more fond of her "Union/Alliance" universe than the "Foreigner" one).

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Response to Agent_86 (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2018, 04:06 PM

5. science fiction began as a glimpse inro the future technology

that would enable humans, but mostly english speaking americans, to explore the universe and found galactic empires. by the 1960s science fiction had devolved into earthbound distopia. from asimov's amazing galactic foundation into post apocalypric soylent green or handmaids tale.

if the chinesd can still dream of colonizing the galaxy, more power to them. go in peace, comrads. i wish i were with you.

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