Is it Worth it? A Question Whether to Continue Writing Science Fiction

As you, my dear readers, know, I have been working on writing a science fiction dystopia novel entitled Cold Shades. To those who have read it, you know one of its prominent themes is about a society so overwhelmed with technology that human interaction suffers. It’s an issue in our society that I have worried over for a long time. An issue so important to me, that I decided I would write a novel detailing my fears. Analyzing all the worst aspects of human nature, my plan was to visualize what technology could come possibly forth, issuing a word of warning about how it could potentially make us lose contact with humanity.

 

Driving_Google_Self-Driving_Car

A self-driving Google car. Image taken by Steve Jurvetson. https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/8190954243/in/photostream

While I have had this idea for years, it wasn’t until the last couple of years that I really began to apply myself in writing my novel. However, as the years and months have passed by, I have noticed that many of my ideas that I had consigned to the realm of speculation and science fiction were ceasing to be such. For starters, take self-driving cars. In my novel, characters use self-driving cars that fly. While it’s true that cars can’t fly yet, imagine my surprise when I found out that self-driving cars were already in the works. No big deal, I said to myself. There are still plenty of other warnings I can give people. One of the most prominent themes of my novel is a lack of human touch, and people turning to physical touch and intimacy in the form of sex-bots rather than flesh and blood people. Well, lo and behold, friends were posting articles this year alone about some pervert who is already working on sex-bots. Okay, no big deal! What about mind reading computers? Already done. Mind-reading headsets are in the works, if they aren’t already out yet, that allow people to control computers. Yes, the concept in my book is a little more technologically advanced, but the concept is already in development.

I ask what’s the point of it all? The point of my dystopian novel was to warn about the potential dangers of a society over saturated with technology. Yet with the rapid pace that technological innovation is moving, I feel like there is no imagination left to imagine the ‘what if’ scenarios. Instead of giving a warning about the dangers of such potential technology being developed, I am instead left as a man stating the potentially obvious or at least spouting off my bias. Now there will be no time for people to think of such consequences because of the accelerated development of said technology. It feels like my idea, which had felt so fresh originally, is quickly turning dated.

Of course, this goes back to my other long-standing issue. In an earlier post, I asked if science fiction was better than fantasy. I mentioned that fantasy had the benefit of never feeling dated, whereas there is much in science fiction that can’t afford that luxury. The problem is technology moves too fast. I honestly do wonder if there will be a day in which science fiction novels and stories will be looked at as dated relics. Yes, I think the writers will be appreciated as visionaries from their time periods, almost like prophets. But I don’t think science fiction books, or movies for that matter, will hold the same sense of wonder for people as they did in the past. In other words, I wonder if I should just forsake science fiction and just stick with fantasy. After all, fantasy is timeless, consigned safely to the mists of ancient times, back to the mythopoeic mind, where it resides eternally.

So, there’s the matter laid out. Should I continue writing my science fiction novel which seems to be rapidly turning into science fact, or should I just scrap it altogether as a lost cause? I do feel like I still have some ideas that haven’t come to fruition in our society yet, but knowing my luck, by the time I finish writing Cold Shades as well as editing it, those other thoughts in my head could turn into reality. Yeah, I’m feeling discouraged. I wish I could have gotten this novel out faster.

 

1200px-Kodomoroid®_(Child_Android),_the_world's_first_news_announcer_android,_exhibited_at_Miraikan_(2015-06-15_04.00.10_by_Franklin_Heijnen)

Kodemoroid! The first news announcing android. One of the themes in my book is androids taking jobs from people. A concept that’s been used before, but one with my spin on it. Image copyright by Franklin Heijnen.

6 thoughts on “Is it Worth it? A Question Whether to Continue Writing Science Fiction

  1. Technology is moving forward very quickly, yet not quickly enough. In a way. When I was kid, I thought we would be flying cars by now, but we are not. I thought we would have jet-packs by now. Sure they exist, but it’s not like we all use it on a daily basis to fly around the world.

    What I’m trying to say is: “Don’t get discouraged.” Keep on writing. Maybe exaggerate it a bit? Push it as far out there as you can think?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You make some valid points here, Jonathan. In fact, I’ve added a link to your post on my FB author page for others to reach.
    But science is a vast arena, and remember that many readers enter your world as a means of escape, so ‘facts’ are not quite as central to a successful read as they may seem. I still find it hard to accept the amazing success of ‘The Martian’, for example, given that a central tennet of the story was entirely false: i.e. his ‘shelter’ was blown away during a dust storm. As Mars has an atmosphere less than 1% of that on Earth, even a hurricane on Mars would be no more than a mild breeze and would do no damage at all physicaly. It may well raise the ultra-fine dust particles and obscure the landscape, but it’s never going to cause damage to a structure.
    But it seems such inaccuracies are irrelevant to many readers and, especially, cinema goers. So, go to it. Keep writing. Good luck with the novel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Stuartaken, thanks for the good advice. You are absolutely correct that readers primarily read to escape.

      Also, I was thinking, even if said technology does come into usage, the book can be enjoyed on another level, as either a prophecy that came true, or, if it didn’t come true, as a great alternate reality story.

      Liked by 1 person

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