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NASA Asks the Writers of Science Fiction Books for Advice?


Did you ever wonder about when the whole genre of science fiction started off? In a general way, Frankenstein in 1818 by Mary Shelley is accepted as the first. It was a startlingly new way to write stories - to take real scientific concepts and ideas and use them in an imaginative way. That particular book as everyone knows, is all about how a scientist, a Dr. Frankenstein tries to study what happens in the body after death. He studies how the body chemically breaks down and tries to find out if the process can be reversed to restore life. Not only did that story start us off on a wonderfully inventive kind of writing, it took up a tack that continues to this day in science-fiction books like the Jurassic Park - that humans who dabble in science should be careful about what they set off. That creating life is a very dangerous path to set off on and people who are able to do that should have well-defined responsibilities to science, to the beings they create and to society.
It was one of the finest science-fiction books ever; especially considering how the book brought up concepts like creating life, decades before Darwin came up with his theory of evolution and a century and a half before science understood that life could be reduced to the code contained in DNA. As some thinkers seem to have brought up, quality fiction really does have useful function to serve.
We know that the writers of fiction books are often real scientists. Kind of like Carl Sagan. They often have to really take in the big picture of where science can head way in the future. Today, science-fiction books like the Windup Girl talk about fighting terrorism; there are books that deal in the Orwellian nature of China and its information repression; and climate change is explored in science-fiction books like 40 Signs of Rain. In many ways, writers of science fiction books actually are involved in science in a day today way.
Would you believe that the Department of Homeland Security and NASA actually consult science-fiction writers in areas of interest to them? They do consult working scientists; but they also have a writers in to talk to too. Scientists don't ever think about where their inventions will head centuries in the future. That is the job of science-fiction writers. When they are qualified enough, they can see the big picture. And that is a real service that society needs.



Source: EzineArticles

Posted by Omkarr singh on Sunday, January 27, 2013. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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