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Author Topic: Frontiers for Science Fiction  (Read 3594 times)

Jompier

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on: November 14, 2013, 06:38:26 PM
Pardon me if this is a well worn path, but I'm curious to hear what you all think are promising frontiers for science fiction. What I mean is, we have lots of sci fi that is set in space, is about space exploration, etc. So, space is one frontier of science about which people can write fiction. Another frontier is networks and massive computer infrastructures, captured in stories about AI, virtual worlds, etc. These two examples represent areas of scientific speculation and exploration; they are frontiers for research and discovery and so lend themselves to story telling.

But what are other areas? What other sciences point to frontiers that would produce good science fiction? Some of the hard sciences seem like possibilities: biological science is obvious, and physics, too. We can probably also think about examples of fiction centered on frontiers of genetics, pharmacology, and zoology. But what about sciences like chemistry, food science, and botany? What about "softer" sciences like sociology and management? Can you envision good science fiction around those areas?

I for one would love to read a good food science yarn.



Sgarre1

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Reply #1 on: November 14, 2013, 07:36:30 PM
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Some of the hard sciences seem like possibilities: biological science is obvious

someone could revive the Ribofunk movement/joke (heck, they revived the Splatterpunk movement/joke)!

Psychology, perhaps?



Ocicat

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Reply #2 on: November 14, 2013, 07:49:42 PM

Psychology, perhaps?

I think cross discipline science is really the way to go.  Like Psychology crossed with something else... hum... history perhaps?  Pschohistory!  I think we're on to something!



Jompier

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Reply #3 on: November 14, 2013, 08:14:26 PM

Psychology, perhaps?

I think cross discipline science is really the way to go.  Like Psychology crossed with something else... hum... history perhaps?  Pschohistory!  I think we're on to something!

Perfect! I expect to be visited by the avatar of Harry Seldon any moment now.



Fenrix

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Reply #4 on: November 14, 2013, 09:05:01 PM

I for one would love to read a good food science yarn.


There was a Thanksgiving episode of Escape Pod that was light on the Thanksgiving and heavier on the food/gene/alien part.

What good opportunities are out there for food science yarns? Other than apocalypse scenarios involving GMO's.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


Varda

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Reply #5 on: November 14, 2013, 09:24:08 PM

I for one would love to read a good food science yarn.


There was a Thanksgiving episode of Escape Pod that was light on the Thanksgiving and heavier on the food/gene/alien part.

What good opportunities are out there for food science yarns? Other than apocalypse scenarios involving GMO's.

I once wrote a (terrible) short story about people who could manipulate the different sections of their digestive tracts so they could become ultimate competitive eating champions! :D

Now I'm thinking we're overdue for the great leptin/ghrelin SF story that'll revolutionize the way we look at digestive hormones. Anyone? Anyone?

Medical Microfiction: Stories About Science
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Sgarre1

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Reply #6 on: November 14, 2013, 10:46:10 PM
we do have a "food" related story on PSEUDOPOD's post-Thanksgiving episode.



SonofSpermcube

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Reply #7 on: November 15, 2013, 01:30:10 AM
"The Love Quest Of Smidgen The Snack Cake" was excellent, and I vaguely recall liking "Candy Art" so maybe food stories have some potential; but most marketing-related stories (the other angle of "Love Quest") suck.  "Advertising at the End of the Universe" was alright I guess. 

I think economic and sociologically oriented stories are something that might get bigger, especially if the Anglosphere continues to present frightening possibilities.  Most of the recent ones I can think of off the top of my head have been kind of ham-fistedly topical, though:  "Elysium" and "Sidekicks in Stockholm" spring to mind.  Frederik Pohl's first "Gateway" novel is probably a good model, as is the setting if not the plot of "Elysium." 



Jompier

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Reply #8 on: November 15, 2013, 03:12:04 PM
we do have a "food" related story on PSEUDOPOD's post-Thanksgiving episode.

Thanks for the suggestions; I'll give those a listen.

But to elaborate with the example I've appeared to have put forward, here are some kernels of story ideas based on food science. And this is off the top of my head and likely touching on ideas that I've read in other stories. I had a look at the current table of contents for a couple of Food Science journals (for academic audiences) and I notice these themes: improvements in disinfectant and storage, nanotechnology in food production, foraging and protein sources from land plants. So, stories about people manufacturing the building blocks of a sustainable food supply using materials on another planet, marooned planetary exploration team learning about edible foods (the hard way), nanotechnology-manufactured food supplies and subtle social control affected by those who design that nano tech, etc. I would actually find some of these topics interesting.




Fenrix

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Reply #9 on: November 15, 2013, 08:27:46 PM
Nothing like a good Bird for Thanksgiving.

Another nuance is that there are a lot of food stories that are more about eating and the sociology of that activity than about the food. What opportunities are out there to blend these two things into a compelling story?

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


lowky

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Reply #10 on: November 15, 2013, 09:22:01 PM
Scott Sigler had Ancestor, He also had Earthcore, which was more about devolved aliens.  What about Oceanography episodes.  not just sea creatures, but what about Atlantis stories.  Underground races.  I think we could use more stories about the ocean.  I seem to recall reading some new(ish I am guessing I read it in the 90's) lovecraftian story, where ocean floor oil was actually like blood from some old god.


SonofSpermcube

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Reply #11 on: November 16, 2013, 05:04:44 AM
Nothing like a good Bird for Thanksgiving.

Another nuance is that there are a lot of food stories that are more about eating and the sociology of that activity than about the food. What opportunities are out there to blend these two things into a compelling story?

I'm going through the EP backlog now, starting at 1, to ~250 or so where I'd started previously.  Just recently listened to "L'Alchemista," EP038, which I THINK might be the sort of thing you're talking about.