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The sense of the sf genre has changed over time.

It used to be for people who liked science (that was my case anyway, in the 60s and 70s). But that's gone and forgotten (I date it from Starwars, in which there is no science whatsoever). Now, I suspect, it's a refuge for people who want politically-incorrect stories.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 09:20:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There was always Heinlein doing libertarian SF. And a lot of older space opera was pretty much just 'America in Space - fuck yeah!'

I hear Star Trek is immensely popular with the US military - perhaps because all that noble humanitarianism in the TV shows is how they like to see themselves.

But it's interesting how much 50s SF was about telepathy, precognition, and other mental superpowers. That's almost gone now.

Star Wars was the cross-over point between speculative-imagination SF and blowing-shit-up-in-space SF. It had military elements, and mental superpowers, and princes and princesses, and a mercenary or two. But basically it was hatin-on-the-government made widescreen.

Then there was Aliens, and that was that.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 09:33:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it's interesting how much 50s SF was about telepathy, precognition, and other mental superpowers

it was also the era when the west took on the concept of brainwashing, due to techniques used by asian and communistic states on prisoners of war.

segueing prettily into the mad men of the 60's, and its usefulness in mass persuasion.

it's a very low, dishonorable abuse of energy, to use sheer repetition to numb brain receptors into battered submission, where even negative response still ensures brand recognition and pavlovian urges to buy, buy, buy.

yet we sucked it up, and still do...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 12:33:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I blame it on HG Wells. Blatantly political all of his novels, and not at all the same level of science geekery as Jules Verne.

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by A swedish kind of death on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 12:22:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, not really science fiction:
He was a rotten scientist anyway, remarking among other things that a small, bolted-down square of Cavorite could rapidly squirt away the Earth's entire atmosphere. The student is invited to estimate what percentage of our planet's mass would be gravitationally screened off from the viewpoint of an oxygen molecule two miles up.

sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 05:58:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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