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Post-pandemic sci-fi story

I got an idea today for a post-pandemic sci-fi story that’s joyful, and it’s one of the things keeping me going right now: a vision of a better future.

I’ve written some of it at home today, where I usually write. So, not much change for me there. If there’s anything good I can take out of these Covid-19 “stay at home” times, it’s that, with any luck, I’ll be more productive with my writing having to be home more right now. If I can stay off the Internet long enough that is…(a usual battle for those who work at home, and yes I spelled Internet with a capital “I” despite what some recent word-trends would have you do; after all, the Internet is the name for a thing: the world network of computers that is public (used to be just the WWW prefix of the World Wide Web, but has grown). That’s a proper noun. /Grammar rant mode off.  If you think I’m wrong you can get off my lawn 😉

Funny how that works, that staying home and productivity ratio! Writers (and I think this is true for most who work from home) generally get more done during the cold months than the warm months. Too many things to do outside when the weather is nice, pulling away our time and attention, it seems. Then the cooler weather eventually sets in and thoughts go back to word counts rather than vacations,  warm summer nights, and days that never seem to end.

Writing about a possible future can be an important part in creating it. We’ve seen this happen again and again, but unfortunately those futures were mostly dystopias. As much as I have enjoyed such stories and movies that were very artfully done, I hoped such worlds would not come to be, and yet they largely have; I always wondered why there were not more possible futures I’d like to live in. What we choose to write is up to us, but I think it’s time we write about more uplifting possible futures than the current state of the world we are now in. Maybe then we will find we are living in a better world one day.

See my previous entry about The Prescience of Science Fiction Authors for more on this topic, and where writers get their ideas to write about the future.

 

The Prescience of Science Fiction Authors

The Prescience of Science Fiction Authors
By David Sloma

In his 1981 novel “The Eyes of Darkness” Dean Koontz named the pandemic virus in his story “Wuhan-400” as it starts in Wuhan, China, the same place where the current COVID-19 virus was first found. That’s a pretty big coincidence! Did he know something was going to happen there in the future? If so, how?

Philip K. Dick (PKD for short) predicted “precrime” and coined the term in his 1956 story “The Minority Report” (which was the basis for the 2002 movie “Minority Report”) – now computer models are being used to determine where precrimes will be committed before they happen and assign resources to those areas. Does it ever feel like you’re living in a PKD story? (Also in the “The Minority Report” were the Pre-Cogs who had the ability to predict the future, as “living computers.”)

These authors display what is called prescience, which means foreknowledge of future events; in essence, being able to predict the future. If we look at the word “prescience” we can see it’s made of two other words: pre and science – a natural topic for science fiction writers! Some people scoff at such an ability to foretell the future, while many more pay for fortune-tellers to do this very thing for them, often with real results (and also with fantastic failures). Then there are those people who dream of things before they happen…How is this possible?

One thing is for sure and that is many so-called science fiction or “sci-fi” writers do just that: tell the future. Or maybe they are creating it. Or also, perhaps, they are tapping into some stream of consciousness that tells them the future and they write it down. Whatever the case, the results are impressive.

There’s a theory called “The Morphogenetic field” which talks about ideas contained in an energy field that can be tapped into. This is similar to the “collective unconscious” discussed by Carl Jung, Sigmund Frued, and others. Maybe some sci-fi authors were tapping into such a thing; maybe they were following trends and extrapolating; maybe both.

As a science fiction writer myself, I think it’s been a combination of these things. Sometimes the future trends of technology and society can be easily seen and they allow the imagination to fly; other times the ideas just come and where they come from could be from many sources, both mundane and Divine. I have had the experience of being surprised when something I’ve written comes true in the world, and I’m sure many more authors have had this experience too, not just the ones I’ve listed.

I’ve never quite considered science fiction stories to be purely fiction. It seems the world is quickly catching up to that notion.

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Italy Covid19 Quarantine/Lockdown

My heart especially goes out to the people of Italy at this time, a beautiful country I have been lucky enough to visit.

I hope to return again in better times.

You are in my prayers.

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