?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

And I only am escaped...

We made it all the way through The Dry Salvages today, marking missing commas and such. I found one possible problem involving light speed and relativity, but it's easily fixed. All in all, the ARC version is in good shape. And, as I've said, I am very proud of this story.

But I'm wrestling with many of the inherent difficulties of science fiction. The worst, I think, is that though I may strive to write about a character in the 24th century, in truth all I'm ever doing is writing 21st-century characters in a postulated 24th-century setting. Language is especially frustrating, trying to imagine how a character might speak, while, at the same time, leaving the language accessible to a contemporary audience. Science fiction is not an exact science, but then neither are most of the most interesting sciences.

Comments

oneirophrenia
Jul. 20th, 2004 01:31 am (UTC)
If you want to really steep yourself in the linguistics of postulated future societies, etc., check out these books:

John C. Wright, _The Golden Age Trilogy_ (AMAZING transhumanist fiction set about 10,000 years in the future)

John Cramer, _Appleseed_ (ultradense)

Anthony Burgess's _Clockwork Orange_, of course (but you've almost certainly already read that one)

Ian McDonald, _River of Gods_ (futuristic India) and _Necroville_ (Return of the Living Dead vs. Nanotech)

I'm currently working on a disgustingly large novel called _Approaching Infinity_ that is only set about thirty years in the future, but in order to do it I've had to completely invent *five* new sets of slang for five different groups of people, a pile of technical terms higher than my head to describe all the new technologies (like ambient-intelligence, Almost Intelligence, nanorecombinant computing, electrophotonic systems, etc. etc. etc.), and thirty years worth of tech development history. Writing near-future sci-fi is a thousand times harder than writing stuff placed more distantly in the future, since the further off you go the more freedom you have in describing and creating ambient technologies without having to worry about explaining exactly how they evolved from *today's* technologies in order to make the period details more realistic.

Of course, at the rate *I* am going writing this beast, it may be 2035 before it's even finished and I'll probably just end up handing it over to an AI to complete so I can go back to writing goofy rants again.
greygirlbeast
Jul. 20th, 2004 02:10 am (UTC)
Ian McDonald, _River of Gods_ (futuristic India) and _Necroville_ (Return of the Living Dead vs. Nanotech)

These two have me very interested.

Writing near-future sci-fi is a thousand times harder than writing stuff placed more distantly in the future, since the further off you go the more freedom you have in describing and creating ambient technologies without having to worry about explaining exactly how they evolved from *today's* technologies in order to make the period details more realistic.

Yes. This has been my experience, both with what I read and with what I write.
oneirophrenia
Jul. 20th, 2004 04:29 am (UTC)
River of Gods (only available in UK at present): http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0743256700/qid=1090297656/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_10_1/202-9047638-4752620
Necroville (published in US as Terminal Cafe): http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0553374168/qid=1090297492/sr=ka-3/ref=pd_ka_3/104-9507954-7186332

I prettymuch recommend anything and EVERYthing by Ian McDonald, as he is one of the most amazing sci-fi/fantasy writers of all time. Oftimes his skill with language reminds me of another famous Dubliner of the literary situation, James Joyce, only with a healthy dose of Yeats' lyricism and cyberpunk technobabble. Simply amazing.