Note — May 12, 2019

Science Fiction Doesn’t Have to Be Dystopian

Joyce Carol Oates at The New Yorker reviewing Ted Chiang’s latest collection of stories, Exhalation, which looks absolutely fascinating while proposing a refreshing view.

Even as humans search for extraterrestrial intelligence, the narrator observes, they can’t hear the messages being sent by an imperilled species on their own planet. […]

Chiang’s vision of the future turns out to be unexpectedly optimistic. After all, the narrator observes, writing itself is a technology, and we became “cognitive cyborgs as soon as we became fluent readers.”