The Library Basement
Reading under ground

How we need science fiction

As an information technology worker I can assure you that my field completely lacks a sense of metaphor. Technology is amazing and advancing, but there's just nothing more there. We never have a sense of wonder when working with computer systems. More than that, science and technology tend to be destructive of our traditional metaphors (e.g., we can no longer say that Jesus is "light from light", since we now know that light is comprised of photons).

So here is part of why I appreciate science fiction so much, especially when it deals with artificial intelligence and related topics: it injects the metaphor back into technology. It helps us to find something deeper to ponder in the technology surrounding us. And it helps us to consider the trade-offs of technology by pushing the current trends to their limits. As a result, I find the dismissal of sci-fi as "genre fiction" by literary critics to be silly and short-sighted.

Category: books Tags: sci-fi