Note — May 09, 2021

Can Speculative Fiction Teach Us Anything in a World This Crazy?

On a completely different beat, Danny Crichton interviewing Eliot Peper on the pertinence of speculative fiction as we live through a very strange reality. Great answers from Eliot, I especially liked the jazz analogy (highlighted below), and the general tone that made me wonder “what is reality anyway,” as we interpret the past and present, and imagine futures.

As a writer of speculative fiction, I’m an enthusiastic reader of history. And in reading about the past to slake my curiosity and imagine possible futures, I’ve learned that the present is exceedingly contingent, fascinating, and fleeting. For me, speculative fiction is less about prediction than it is about riffing on how the world is changing like a jazz musician might improvise over a standard. […]

Imagined worlds are an integral part of the real world as we experience it, layering meaning and possibility onto actual events. […]

We are all interpreting reality for each other all the time, transforming it in the process. The increasing density and intensity of that process is the result of a growing population that is knitting itself together ever more tightly along ever more dimensions.