October 28th, 2012, 09:29 AM
Actually, that may have been the case back in the 1980s, but when I last looked at the subject a few years back, definitely no.
Originally Posted by KatG
We have a much better understanding of what drives technology into the market place and why, which makes technology prediction easier. Rather than just take my word for it, I suggest you look it up yourself...
October 28th, 2012, 09:46 AM
Live Long & Suffer
Are you talking about technology prediction or BUYing prediction?
Originally Posted by Rosie Oliver
People buy garbage. That is partly why we have so much of an e-waste problem. And the media plays into it for the money. I see in a few places they say the Apple miniPad has 512 meg of RAM. But the majority of reviews say NOTHING about how much RAM. I have seen reviews get stuff wrong before so at the moment I am not sure if it has 512 or not.
I would not buy an tablet with less than 1 gig today.
That is the problem. Most people do not know enough science and technology so they get manipulated by psychology. And then the EXPERTS make things more difficult than necessary. That is why science fiction that makes science fun and explains things is so useful, even if it is not very literary. I just think most good hard science fiction writers care less about the literary aspects than many readers who care less about the science aspects.
October 28th, 2012, 10:37 AM
Actually, I'd rather you provide some evidence to back up the claim.
Originally Posted by Rosie Oliver
...rather than make us do the work of supporting a specious argument for you.
October 28th, 2012, 11:32 AM
Whilst the two are inter-related through thinsg like accesses to resources, I'm primarily talking about technology prediction... the buying psychology you talk about is also understood to some extent and can be input into the analysis.
Originally Posted by psikeyhackr
October 28th, 2012, 11:34 AM
Nah... apart from my info not being up to date and me being too lazy to dig out my reference books, you'll learn a lot more if you did it yourself...
Originally Posted by Fung Koo
October 28th, 2012, 03:58 PM
I'm done taking part in this self-promotion exercise.
October 29th, 2012, 12:59 AM
I think the earthquake scientists convicted ridiculously of manslaughter in Italy might disagree with you there. (Although since I have stock in Microsoft and they are about to take a huge gamble that my husband thinks is nuts, I kind of hope there has been some improvement in tech to market prediction, though we don't often see it.) Technology still, even after the 1980's, has gone in directions quite different from what is expected, and more specifically, fads in technology do not necessarily predict what future society we will have. There are plenty of other factors -- economic, natural resources, authoritarianism, research funding, war, etc., that effect what happens with technology into the marketplace as well as technological development, and predictions of these factors again are the equivalent of a coin toss much of the time: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michae...b_1181657.html There has been no magic wand in the predictive ability of scientists, hard or sociological. We still don't know if there will actually be a singularity where we can upload our brains, etc. More to the point, improved ability to calculate data on a computer and extract patterns from it by scientists does not necessarily mean that science fiction authors have put into fiction all the new ideas of the future. And if science and technology is developing to cure diseases, find the particles of the universe, figure out what dark matter is, use stroke victims to make new neurological discoveries, extend sensor readings into deep space, discover new uses for octopus ink, new species of animals, etc., this continually provides more fodder for science fiction authors to build on and imagine from, not less. The reality is that science fiction authors have much more access to scientific research than they ever did in the past from which to make extrapolations. The idea that science fiction can only thrive if actual science doesn't and withers if science is going great guns is not one that makes a lot of sense to me.
And more confusingly, if you believe that science fiction is empty of ideas of the future, why are you writing it and why do you think you came up with one in a short story? Either you can't come up with new ideas because it's all been done, or you can and then the question is, are science fiction authors doing hard SF (and some kinds of soft SF) riffing off of the science to look at what we just found in the last ten years might do to our future? I think that they are. I think that some of the writers we've talked about up thread have been exploring those ideas, including more far out things like The Quantum Thief and environmental dissolution stories like The Wind-Up Girl. But it's a matter of looking at a lot of books that have been coming out over the last ten years. And again, whether SF writers are stylists with literary prose techniques and whether they are predicting new and idea-shaking futures are two different things. One does not lead to the other, so a search for "literary hard SF" on one site that turns up zero doesn't mean that there is a lack of imagination in scientific ideas of the future among hard SF writers. That's two different criteria that don't correlate.
Again, I think that what you are grappling with is a fear that innovation (and/or writerly writing) is not welcome in SF publishing right now. And among some individuals involved in the market, that may be the case of a fearful preference in bad economics. But I'm less inclined to declare the entire field eschewing innovation, because that generally tends to make publishers poorer, which they don't like, and that writers like Peter Watts, Greg Egan, Charles Stross, etc. are really bad and boring with their science. (Although psikey might go with you on that one.) The fact that we're debating how we can agree on a definition of hard SF and a definition of literaryness (separately) does not mean that the field is empty. It means that there's a lot in it to discuss. (I was amused when a friend reading this conversation gave me this link to the MIT Review: http://www.technologyreview.com/view...s-of-all-time/ ) I think what you are raising to talk about is interesting. I think declaring grand conclusions from disparate data is on shakier ground. (And if you want to come to the Writing Forum, I'm happy to talk about publishing issues there where they will not bore the SF fans.)
December 29th, 2012, 08:39 AM
Live Long & Suffer
I have just finished rereading The Martian Chronicles to compare it to Clarke's The Sands of Mars. MC is definitely NOT hard SF.
Originally Posted by JimF
The two books do make for an interesting comparison. I like them both but for different reasons. Sands of Mars is hard SF. Read it and judge how literary it is.
The Sands of Mars has the interesting aspect of the protagonist being a science fiction writer and Clarke has other characters make pot shots about it. But both books are "serious" science fiction regardless of the hardness.
PS - sent from Nexus 7
Last edited by psikeyhackr; December 29th, 2012 at 10:13 AM.
January 5th, 2013, 01:25 AM
I saw Chris Beckett's Dark Eden mentioned earlier, and wouldn't call it 'hard' SF (planet without a star?) but it is one of the best novels I've read. Paolo Bacigalupi's The Wind-up Girl would probably be kinda hard SF, taking place in a post-fossil fuels earth, and dealing with genetically modified foods that on the level of what is certainly capable in the real world.
January 6th, 2013, 05:13 AM
If I remember correctly, they have recently (last few years) discovered a planet in deep space without a Sun.
Originally Posted by utherdoul
This isn't unexpected for me as it would follow from either being thrown out of a solar system by a collision or having only a small space and mass of accretion, i.e. not big enough to form an object big enough to start the nuclear reactions needed to form a Sun (which is not that much bigger than Jupiter). Hope this helps...