Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Dark Between the Stars

I went outside to walk the dogs and to try and do some observing. Alas, the haze and the light pollution is such that the only "star" I could see was Jupiter.

It struck me then, especially after reading (today) Ed Hamilton's Interstellar Patrol stories as well as (in the recent past) some Poul Anderson, some Jack Williamson, some Olaf Stapledon and a few others...maybe "science fiction is dead" or "hard science fiction is dead" or "space opera" is dead not because we've grown up, or because science has caught up with the fiction (like that will ever happen) or we're getter gray or we're getting distracted by the intertubes or because (fill in the blank).

Maybe "science fiction is dead" because most of us don't see the stars anymore. We don't have a connection with the universe and its immense size. We don't have a connection with the Milky Way, the change of the seasons shown by the change of the constellations, the diamond dust. Even Ed Hamilton at his pulpiest showed more of a connection to the universe than many of today's SF authors, alas.

Well, it's my theory. As legit or silly as anything else pumped out by your typical MFA candidate!


Scott Kardel said...

Light pollution is a terrible thing that denies us the right to see the universe from our backyards and in the process cuts off a major source of inspiration.

John Lambshead said...

When I was a child in Newquay, North Cornwall, you could look up at a blaze of light. All gone with street lights, road lights, shop lights, clubs, laser shows, etc, etc.