I felt my brain grow two sizes too big reading this wonderful article. Can’t say I have a problem with dystopian sci-fi, but I definitely think she’s onto something, and recommend this to lovers and haters of the genre alike:
Chicken Little Syndrome may not have a place in the DSM-5 Manual of psychological disorders, but it spreads faster than Bird Flu and Ebola. The chicken story began twenty-five centuries ago as a rabbit, by the way. The wise Buddha was trying to teach people to keep cool and carry on, as we say today. In his parable, a rabbit hears the noise of a falling fruit and instigates a stampede among the other animals—“the world is coming to an end!”—until a lion halts them, investigates the cause of the panic and restores calm.
I like that lion. I like his lesson on the value of deductive reasoning and investigation.
5 responses to “Vine Voice reviewer Carol Kean’s epic article on Dystopian Sci-Fi”
Awww! John, have I ever said “I love you, man”–? ‘Cause I already did even before this kind tribute to the writer whose kids will say or do just about anything to get her to stop talking about stuff like this.
Happy to share, and I hope people read it. It had a lot of great points. My only thing is, I love reading end of the world stuff where people have to scratch to survive and build something new. But I definitely love the uplifting sci-fi, brave new world, lasers and thrusters stuff too.
One of the best sci-fi novels I’ve ever read is “Midshipman’s Hope” by David Feintuch. This, to me, is an absolute masterpiece in the lasers/thrusters category. Highly recommended.
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Wow, this is beautifully written and reminds me why I don’t care for dystopian sci-fi. I’ve read scores, possibly hundreds, of dystopian novels, and in retrospect maybe the only one worth reading was 1984. (I don’t count P. K. Dick’s novels as dystopian, even though they often present undesirable futures, because his purpose was never to give a dull sermon about global warming or overpopulation or whatever. Compare Brunner’s dreary Stand on Zanzibar and its ilk, which have no purpose except to sermonize.) This is a highly literate and thought-provoking essay, Carol, and I hope it finds zillions of readers.
Harvey and John, thanks so much! John, I really do love the “end of the world” scenario when people get all resourceful and set about rebuilding what was lost (and better than before, too). Cedar Rapids “Epic Surge” Flood of 2008 showed how the devastation can lead to a new and improved downtown. The phoenix rising from the ashes is one of my favorite archetypes. Harvey, you blow my mind with your knowledge of books I’ve never even heard of ( Brunner’s dreary Stand on Zanzibar, e.g.). You too John (however much you sell yourself short) – “Midshipman’s Hope” by David Feintuch? I am humbled. (Daily.)