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Have we overcome?

In the old TV show The Jeffersons, an early episode included a bit where a black woman who worked in the same building as the "deluxe apartment in the sky" made friends with Louise Jefferson thinking she was the Jefferson's maid. On discovering that the building now had not only one African American matron (Louise) but a second on in the person of Weezy's friend Helen Willis, the woman exclaimed something along the lines of, "Well, damn! How come we overcame and nobody told me?"

I feel almost the same way. I just saw an article by Clive Thompson in WIRED from January 18, on why science fiction is the new home for profound works. The article is called "Clive Thompson on Why Sci-Fi Is the Last Bastion of Philosophical Writing".

Here's a quote: "And there are, at the risk of sounding superweird, only so many ways to describe reality."

True! And with spec fic, that number becomes infinite. Thompson gives a solid example of the way science fiction can illustrate an interesting concept with an analysis of Cory Doctrow's novella "After the Siege," in which the invention of a "replicator" causes world-wide conflict and suffering instead of an end to poverty and hunger.

First the British, and now the geeks! Next thing you know, Michael Chabon will join SFWA! Wait, that did happen! Maybe like George and Louise, we've finally got our piece of the pie?


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