Is Science Fiction Really Innovative, Magical, or Lazy? #scifi #doctorwho #sciencefiction #stories


Which Doctor would you want to pluck you effortlessly from your humdrum life?

Science fiction may be the laziest genre because it revels in easy solutions: Why walk if you can warp?

Science fiction often hand-waves away obstacles that are insurmountable or inconvenient. As an author, I’m not going to work out real solutions to every problem – a colony on Mars (a story I’m working on) recycles all its wastes, but I won’t design the water treatment system. (Though, now that I think about it, space toilets can be fun.)

There may never be a Star Trek Enterprise or even a quick hop to another star, and nothing suggests it’s possible to flit through time and space like Doctor Who’s TARDIS. Stories have different levels of reality – at least the Enterprise crew has an employer, but how does the Doctor stock his wardrobe room, or the kitchen for that matter?

In Jacob Brogan says

Luke [Skywalker] is a slacker, and when he looks to the heavens, he imagines release from the obligations that bind him to the surface of Tatooine… Technology in such stories typically has more to do with workarounds than it does with work.

Brogan finds that heroes not only escape the real world, they have an easy time turning into someone who’s “super.”

“In The Matrix, Neo effortlessly learns a host of new skills that would normally take years to develop – the ultimate slacker fantasy.” Harry Potter may have homework, but Hogwarts only teaches those born with magic. (If you’re thinking Harry Potter’s not science fiction, forgive me, but scifi readers often enjoy fantasy too.)

Science fiction is a huge genre and not all heroes have it so easy. Some characters struggle and there are both happy and tragic endings.

Science fiction sometimes deals with inconvenience – you’ll find space station janitors and generational ships schlepping between stars. But there will also be fantastic elements you have to simply accept – sometimes technical (space war) and sometimes social (raising clones for spare organs). But that’s part of the fun. I’m already living in the real world. I want to read about something amazing and maybe imagine being part of it. That’s why it’s called fiction.

All my books, including science fiction, are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and other major online retailers. You’ll also find paperbacks at Amazon and B&N, all major digital formats at Smashwords.

Start with Book 1 today, from any of your favorite stores: Emma wants to explore Mars in her robotic walkabout, but something is terribly wrong in the first colony. A strange illness threatens the settlers and deaths may be no accident. Has Emma joined the last humans on Mars?

The New Doctor Who Saturday

Tom Baker was "my" Doctor

Tom Baker was “my” Doctor

Is everyone ready for the new Doctor Who, premiering tomorrow – Saturday – in the US? The 13th doctor (yes, I count the War Doctor) kicks off the season.

Like many 20th century Americans, Tom Baker was “my” doctor, the measure of all doctors after him and before him. (I watched the doctors out of sequence. My personal quirks: I’ve never seen much of the second Doctor at all, and I am not fond of The Master. But, then, I don’t like Professor Moriarty much in the Sherlock Holmes canon, so consider the source.)

If what I wrote is incomprehensible, perhaps you’re not a Whovian fan. Don’t worry, you can start watching on Saturday: try “not get overly worried about the continuity and minutia and instead enjoy the wit and high-paced, high-stakes adventure.” Doctor Who easily changes the rules, both of the show and of physics, as necessary, so don’t waste energy trying to out-guess him. There’s loads on the Internet if you want background (you may drown in it) or try one little piece here.