Thursday Chatter by t.s.wright

Good morning Flames,

We inadvertently dedicated April to Shakespeare, a man who helped to form our language and created the original History Channel. Though not as lauded or well-known as Shakespeare, the forefather in this month’s discussions (at least by me) will be Philip K. Dick. For it is from his imagination that some of the best science fiction has sprung.


PKD’s work, like many of the artists prevalent in the sixties, fixated on the government as an enemy entity and portrayed local police forces as a militant arm of the government. The Cold War was in full swing, as well as that never-ending competition between the US and the USSR to be the first, best, and brightest in conquering new fields of science and exploration. In his short stories, Russia is often depicted as an unwelcome opposing force to the adversarial US government.

These facets of his reality have changed so much in the last fifty years, there are already generations reading grown up science fiction who simply can’t relate. It makes me wonder what the antagonists in our current writing will look like to readers 50 years hence.

As writers we speculate on changes in technology, discovery and application of hyper-natural powers of the mind, introduction (at last) to visitors from other planets, and even manned space travel to colonize new worlds. But sometimes we forget that people and governments will cycle and evolve – that by using them in our backdrop we are dating ourselves.

What irregularities have you stumbled across in your reading that jarred you from the story with thoughts of antiquated or dated concepts? Do you give thought to these potential pitfalls in your own writing?

Hopefully, those of you who signed up are prepping for “What is Reality?” Check back with us over the weekend for some writing sprint exercises to keep you writing.

Talk to your friends who love to read about Brigit’s Flame. We will need some solid Beta readers in May to help us maximize feedback for the contest. We love readers as much as we love writers.


About t.s.wright

Writer, reader, casual photographer, nature-lover, dog mom. I grew up in a tree, inside a book, whispering possible futures into discarded seed pods that curled up and exploded each summer. One day, they cut down my tree and I was forced to go to school while waiting for the replacement trees to grow strong enough to hold me. But while we waited, I grew too heavy and awkward to climb, so I had to get a job. I spent my days surrounded by flimsy walls covered in carpet that made boxes and people who forgot to look out windows. I worked really hard. Possibilities were replaced with formulas and exactitude. Eventually I forgot how to climb a tree...and how to smile. Then one day, a dog licked my foot excessively and I remembered smiling. That reminded me of more things that didn't cost money and couldn't be tallied in a spreadsheet - like hugs and love and being happy. So I found myself a Steve who reminded me what home was. Then we filled it and our hearts with dogs. Eventually we planted our own tree, together. Even though I'm happy right here, right now, I remembered that we all need possibilities to dream of, so I've started writing them down.
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2 Responses to Thursday Chatter by t.s.wright

  1. Some of the old conspiracy theories I’ve read over the years have definitely crept into three of my stories — scenarios in which cover-ups are executed by particularly unethical military and metro police personnel. As for your examples and the statement that by including specific technologies and hints at government conspiracies of specific eras we date ourselves, personally I enjoy looking back at works influenced by recognizable eras. It’s so entertaining to watch old episodes of Star Trek and be able to identify just what train of social conscience was being followed at the time. The same is true for reading Ender’s Game, watching the early episodes of Star Wars, and so forth. If ever there were solid proof that governments do indeed cycle and evolve (as well as the social conscience and preoccupations of world powers) revisiting these older works are it! There as useful as a dictionary and thesaurus beside the writer’s desk 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Weekend Wrap-up | Brigit's Flame Writing Community

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