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Writing outside the box?

GalleyCat had an item about William Gibson that includes a video of an interview. Gibson, credited by many with inventing cyberpunk, says that he thinks all science fiction stories are really about the here and now—or at least their authors' here and now. That makes Neuromancer "about" the 80's. Gibson credits September 11 with pushing away from writing science fiction but it seems to me that he was moving in that direction all by himself before that.

I think there's something in the idea that all fiction is of its time, not so much because writers can imagine anything other than their own time, but because readers can't relate to anything that is so strange that it simply won't fit into their frame of reference. Science fiction readers have a much bigger frame than most folks, but they still have one.


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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
scottedelman
Jul. 4th, 2008 12:30 pm (UTC)
Readercon often has a panel that's titled something like "The Real Year of This Novel," which posits that every work of fiction has the year in which it purportedly takes place, whether that be 2001, 4752, or 1955. But hidden under each book is the real year in which the book is taking place, based on cultural prejudices and societal clues. It's always a fun panel.
karen_w_newton
Jul. 4th, 2008 01:40 pm (UTC)
It sounds like fun. I've never made it to Readercon, but I've heard lots of good things about it.
scottedelman
Jul. 4th, 2008 07:05 pm (UTC)
Readercon is my favorite con. As you know, I haven't missed one yet. We'll get you there someday!
david_bridger
Jul. 4th, 2008 01:22 pm (UTC)
This is an interesting idea!

Perhaps we all share a broad vision of the future, shaped by every idea and image that assaults our collective consciousness, like a folk memory projected forwards - or a ghost of future zeitgeist.
karen_w_newton
Jul. 4th, 2008 01:49 pm (UTC)
I would go along with that for the Western world. I am pretty sure that Asians and Africans have their own zeitgeist.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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