Time has a strange attraction for many people – it’s the one dimension that we can perceive but can’t control. But we can hack at the edges of it, like the Time Nuts: a 400-strong geek clade who collect high-precision atomic time-pieces. If you find you never have enough time to spend with your family, you may want to look into their methods – it’ll help you scrape up a few precious extra nanoseconds. [Awesome ‘shopped image by fdecomite]
Other people are trying to map time, instead – MetaFilter points out Miomi, a web2.0 startup with the tagline “user generated history” that aims to round up all the information in the world and assemble it into one coherent browsable time-line. Insert your own joke about conspiracy theorists and alternate history writers here.
On the subject of writers and time, the relentlessly provocative and controversial Mundane SF blog reminds us of DeSmogBlog’s “100 Year Letter” project, and decries the fact that science fiction writers seem to have taken no interest in it at all. Of course, they may simply not have know about it – this is the first I’ve heard of it, at least – but the Mundanistas lay a much weightier charge:
“… here, in 2007, the Science Fiction community has abandoned the future; or the future has abandoned it and gone on its merry way, following the laws of physics and thermodynamics with absolutely no consideration for our fantastic dreams. What a shame.”
What do you think – is it science fiction’s duty to deal with contemporary issues, or is it just for escapist purposes?
One thought on “Playing games with time”
First I hear of this project, too. I think that there are far too many blogs that assume that everyone reads them…
|What do you think – is it science fiction’s duty to deal
|with contemporary issues, or is it just for escapist
IMO, it’s no more science fiction’s _duty_ to deal with any issue than it is the duty of the “historical fiction” or “bodice ripper” to deal with issues. However, science fiction _can_ be used as a venue to discuss and float ideas about how those issues may be dealt with. SF can also be used as a sandbox, a way to dream about what the world might be like without those issues to deal with. That’s part of the attraction to SF, for me. But only part, as it is also escapist reading.
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