Monday, 3 April 2017

Compare And Contrast

Compare and contrast: a twentieth century writer of science fiction and a twenty first century writer of contemporary fiction.

For decades, many sf writers, notably including Poul Anderson, addressed issues around computers and AI. Anderson's characters used "infotrieves." In the first decade of the twenty first century, Stieg Larsson's characters communicated and hacked on the internet. It sounded like sf but it was up-to-date technology.

I have compared Anderson and Larsson in relation to:

conventions of action-adventure fiction;
male-female teams in fiction;
uses of the Bible in fiction;
fictional villains;
intelligence services;
political issues;
sf-like tech;
Scandinavian setting.

So far, there is one major disappointment and, of course, the fault does not lie with writers. Twentieth century sf readers confidently expected that interplanetary travel would have become routine by the early twenty first century. Imagine contemporary fiction in which flights to the Moon were as commonplace as flights between Europe and North America.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I only WISH as fiercely as possible that flights to the Moon were as common as flights from the US to Europe!!!

And I thought of POUL ANDERSON when I first saw that picture of Stieg Larrsson. Compare it with a picture of PA when he was about the same age and the resemblance is plain. No surprise, of course, they both had the same ethnic, Scandinavian ancestral stock.