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.