Fiction: knowledge kills it

I spend some time over on Scrib-O-defile (which is a pretty good collaborative community for getting your writing critiqued — among other things. The moderators are draconian and the owner is an enigma. Anyway…)

I batted around the concept of what irked me (or anyone) about Science Fiction tropes.

I happened upon a thought, my own, that pretty much boils down to: “the more you know, the less fiction is plausibly possible.”

My offering over there:

“Truth stranger than fiction” certainly comes to mind when it comes to Sci-Fi.

I’ve read a barrel full of Sci-Fi in my days. The stuff that was utterly outside the realm of reality — I loved that. But lately, as I realize the fallacy of “aliens” I’ve become more of a “probable” Sci-Fi kind of guy. What is the “probable” future of science and discovery?

Frankly, I lament my Sci-Fi youth. The 60’s – the 90’s were the “if you can imagine it, we can write it into a story,” period. Card, Foster, Farmer, Asimov, Laumer, Dick, and dozens of others filled my mind with fantastical beings and worlds.

Today? Bah! Starwars is just so much crap science and lame plots now. StarTrek? I enjoy the hell out of Chris Pine, but the reality of it? Ugh! Probabilistic bogosity.

It seems that the more we know, the less fiction can soar beyond our minds. Imagine once we know 1000 x’s what we know today (in about 20 years)? What “fiction” could we possibly entertain that didn’t feel completely false and contrived?

6 thoughts on “Fiction: knowledge kills it

    1. Well, that’s a surprise. You must be the first sale (if only sale)! Thanks for your support Martina.
      I was just commenting to a fellow writer, as a “first” novel, I’m OK with how it came out. I’d pretty much had enough of it and just wanted to move on.
      (What I am doing, which is not unique but not common, is I’m writing different stories, that all take place within the same time frame and under the same apocalyptic premise. Not a series, just an umbrella universe.)


  1. Caveats — right up front:
    This is merely a theory, not an assertion of fact (whatever those might be).

    Does fiction eventually run out of fictionable material? That is, in the realm of sci-fi or fantasy (predominately, but not exclusive to those two), once humanity learns substantially more than what we know today (and we already know quite a bit about matter, life and the universe) will the possibility of writing fiction become substantially harder, if not impossible?

    Imagine the early 1800’s. Human knowledge was primitive, and grossly wrong. Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein. A great and considered the first sci-fi/fantasy story ever written. But, so far off from what science would consider possible as to be contentious, to say the least.

    The 1900’s and H.G. Wells. Yeah, just imagine all the same-era fiction that gets destroyed by today’s science.

    The 2000’s and communication and energy and travel and material science. So much of what humanity learns and continues to learn refutes and discards all (most) previously dreamed up fiction.


    1. Just blasted through Dan Brown’s latest “Origin”. Gotdamn what a formulaic writer that dude is now.
      I read the first 10 chapters, and the last 10 and got the gist of the book. (100+ chapters!)
      The reason I mention it is that his MC announces that he’s going to destroy all the worlds religions with the discovery he’s just made… But, that one questions turns into the whole story — I just couldn’t take another Brown “Here, let me explain the world’s symbols to you…” diatribe again.

      As you saw, publishing is cake. Get your shit done. Let’s edit that bad-boy. And let’s get you a hot, fat copy you can hold in your sweaty hands!

      Liked by 1 person

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