Over at io9, Charlie Jane Anders on writing science fiction in the 21st century

PrintLast week, our friend and Hieroglyph contributor Charlie Jane Anders published her new novel All The Birds in the Sky. Reflecting on her experiences as a science fiction author, critic, and community member, she penned a fantastically thought-provoking essay for io9 that echoes the work we try to accomplish here at Project Hieroglyph. Some choice excerpts:

On optimism

“There is just a famished, intense desire for optimism out there…but just being willing to believe in a decent future is a massively important act in the early 21st century.”

On the impact of science fiction stories

“…we have a lot of fears, as a society, that science fiction has an opportunity to address. The very fact that we’ve spent so much time lately debating whether science fiction should include ‘message fic’ about real-world issues proves that, yes, science fiction does have an opportunity to talk about real-world issues.”

On science communication

“…scientists know that we’re confused and overwhelmed, and they are sincerely interested in communicating science to ordinary people. And they absolutely see science fiction books and stories as a vehicle for talking about, and hopefully even educating about, actual science in the middle of so much misrepresentation and misunderstanding.”

The entire essay is truly a great read (no surprise there) and we look forward to diving into the new book. (And don’t miss the Hieroglyph shout-out in the section “Also, optimism!”)

Congratulations, Charlie Jane!







2 responses to “Over at io9, Charlie Jane Anders on writing science fiction in the 21st century”

  1. Giulio Prisco Avatar
    Giulio Prisco

    A great essay indeed, and I look forward to reading “All the Birds in the Sky.”

  2. Giulio Prisco Avatar
    Giulio Prisco

    I agree with what Charlie Jane Anders says about near-future science fiction, but I think we shouldn’t forget far-future science fiction. To me, and to many other science fiction fans, the transcendent wonder of far-future science fiction give patience and mental peace to cope with a world of incremental progress and tiny little steps forward (and at times backward). We won’t see those space colonies and interstellar missions in our lifetime – and that’s why it’s important to see them with the eyes of our imagination. I think we need transcendent motivation to keep doing whatever little good works we can here-and-now.