arbitrary stuff that comes to mind: whenever I feel like thinking aloud

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Metaphors of the future rooted in the past


The problem with Science-fiction writing is that the metaphors in that imagined future world are rooted in the immediate present of this one. In a very short time these metaphors give the story a dated feeling.

Where metaphors are imagined, the passage of time soon makes them feel anachronistic.

Very few writers are able to transcend this: Philip K Dick is one, and probably Neal Stephenson another. What makes them special is not the imagined future, but the reality of today's psychological problems retold in a different way.

Because these authors apply themselves to the universal problems of the meaning of our lives, like Goethe and Shakespeare they transcend their time and will endure: despite the fact that these futures will always be antediluvian.

There is no escape from mortality: all things drift towards the ends of time. The vastness of the universe ensures that the short life, biodegradable wrapper that we call our bodies, located on the equivalently short-life time capsule we call our solar system will utterly disappear.

Our only hope is that God exists, and is aware of us.
Well, of me in particular :-)

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