Virtual Book Tour

Guest Post at All the Ups and Downs

All the Ups and Downs is the first stop of my Virtual Book tour. The post is about what about the science fiction genre I love the most?

All the Ups and Downs is the first stop of my Virtual Book tour. The post is about what about the science fiction genre I love the most?

How can you not love science fiction?

Every book allows you to live another life. Russian author, Anton Chekhov wrote a short story about a bet between a wealthy business man and a young man. They bet that it would be impossible for someone to live alone, without any contact for twenty years. The young man accepts the one million rouble bet on condition that he can ask for books. After twenty years, the businessman isn’t as wealthy and cann’t afford to pay the bet. In despraration, he decides that he must end the young man’s life before the end of the bet. So, he sneaks in at night, only to find the cabin empty. The young man left a note saying that he could not accept the money, because he was given the priceless opportunity of living so many different lives through books.

What science fiction does, is allow you to live fantastical lives. Walking on the moon and more distant planets, flying in cars, talking to planet minds, meeting intelligent androids, to boldly go where no man has gone before! It’s a genre of wondrous discoveries and of unlimited possibilities. But what I like most about science fiction, is that it gives us hope. That they will still love their children, that their relationship to others still means something.

Hope that new discoveries will solve some of our current problems. Hope that we will continue to find ways to work together in the face of disparity. And especially, hope that people will still be people in the future.

Jules Verne wrote From the Earth to the Moon in 1865. It took us one hundred years to actually make that trip. In Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Verne designed a submarine powered by electricity. Twenty years later, it was built. In 1964, Isaac Asimov predicted the rise of cars with “robot-brains”. Now, almost sixty years later, we are building them.

How can you not love science fiction?

Sure, there are also a lot of dystopian novels, where terrible things happen. Especially when we caused the terrible things ourselves, through greed, carelessness or ignorance. But I tend to see those novels as cautionary tales. That’s something we don’t want to happen. So, let’s work together to avoid that.

Not for nothing, the sub-title of my novel is “Hope in a Post-Apocalyptic Age”. A group of diverse people suddenly find themselves working together on something that none of them have done before: build a Thinking Machine to bring peace. And their first major task, is to actually work together. This is not as easy as it sounds. Not in real life either.

But it’s always worth trying, and it always makes something possible that wasn’t there before. All it takes is for people to connect in a meaningful way. Now and in the futures we create through our stories.

This is what I love about science fiction.