And Speaking of Fantasy, Literature, and Science . . .

. . . which I wasn’t, but this is so COMPLETELY connected to the whole ball of wax I’ve pondering so intently the past few days that I’ve got to pass it along.

A project that aims to learn about how literature influences science and scientists. As the “what this is about” note points out, typically the interest goes the other direction (how does science influence literature?). Take a look. Good stuff. Again: Do we live in interesting times or what?? (And if you’re missing the connection between this, genre writing, science fiction, fantasy, the turmoil in contemporary writing/publishing, well, really: there IS a connection. At least in my mind.)

Back to work.

8 thoughts on “And Speaking of Fantasy, Literature, and Science . . .

  1. This is dating myself a little with this comment, but I was in the navy in the nuclear power program to run reactors on the carriers, etc. I ran into more than one black (african american?) in the program who stated quite clearly they wanted to be like Jeordy LaForge from Star Trek, and the Nuke Program was the closest they could get in the real world.

    I run a shop in Second Life, a virtual world community which was inspired by the cyberpunk novel Snow Crash (why hasn’t this been made into a movie!). The CEO read the book and said, ‘how do I build this! And Second Life was born.

    We read these books and become inspired by these worlds and the vision of what could be, and some of us strive the rest of our lives to make it happen.Recapturing that wonder and excitement is a lot of what Human Wave is all about.

  2. I’d never heard of SNOW CRASH until about a week ago, and now here it’s mentioned again. I added it to my Amazon reading list. Anyway: great example of life interacting with “art.” Thanks!

    • If I recall correctly, Snow Crash was considered a “realistic cyberpunk,” and both played with many cyberpunk tropes, and deconstructed some — especially Cyberspace.

      (If you don’t know cyberpunk — and you might not, if you haven’t been following the SF trends of past decades! Forgive me if I’m wrong? Anyway. In case you want to know a little of what Snow Crash is built on and deconstructing: The Cyberpunk movement in SF was… oh, the late 80s, early 90s? The focus was grit, grime, “high-tech low-life,” mega-corporations like unto fiefdoms, anti-heroes, and the semi-defining feature: Cyberspace. Cyberspace was generally depicted as full Virtual Reality, entered into via neural interfaces, with (I gather) often blatantly unrealistic descriptions of hacking into people’s computer security. The tabletop Role Playing Games that spring to my mind as riding the wave of the Cyberpunk movement would be Shadowrun (which merged fantasy and cyberpunk) and Cyberpunk 2020. This was also the era in which the US Secret Service illegally seized the draft of GURPS Cyberpunk; that’s documented in http://www.sjgames.com/SS/, and I was one of the defendants, since they illegally read my email.)

      I hope that you enjoy it! I found it much more interesting than most cyberpunk at the time, though I never got into any of that author’s subsequent books, personally.

      • Jesus! You see what I mean? I’m learning so much. Man, this is interesting. (And so much more fun than what happens when people simply bash bash bash.)

      • Elizabeth, I don’t know why your comments, but ONLY yours, keep getting hung up in my dashboard demanding my approval. I set my WordPress system so that no “moderating” was needed (because I don’t hang on my computer all. day. long.) — but for some reason the WP system keeps setting your comments aside and “asking” my approval before they appear. No idea why that’s happening……….

      • Well Maureen, there’s no reason to bash what is essentially the same concept as a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or a museum, entities that put historical trends and genres in an order where one can point to a thing and say, “This was important.” When these people attempt to put cyberpunk into that same order, it’s cool. When I do it, it’s exerting mind control and disrespecting what they like to read. If I’d said Snowcrash was important, these same people would’ve said Eff U. Maybe it’s my pedantic tone when I say that in fact cyberpunk goes back to Bruce Bethke’s 1983 short story of the same name and especially William Gibson’s Neuromancer from 1984. Let’s pretend I just said that with a southern hayseed twang and that I’m wearing a straw hat and smoking cornsilk on top of a crumbling wall.

      • I use too many dang URLs; WordPress goes, “AH-HA! URLs! A Spammer!” and sets them in the moderation queue. It can’t tell the difference between “this URL about a fascinating bit of semi-recent history” (the Electronic Frontier Foundation came about because of the SJ Games incident!) and “that URL trying to sell you handbags.”

        (As for why I didn’t go into the short stories that started the whole Cyberpunk movement… I didn’t really like cyberpunk! I liked Snow Crash in part because of how it danced on many of the cyberpunk tropes that made me make -_- faces. So I would’ve had to look up the whole thing on wikipedia.)

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