Less has been written about the role SF writers play in shaping how we feel about science and the future. Stories are powerful things and humans are hard-wired to learn from stories and storytelling. Good storytelling creates strong emotional hash tags that anchor actions and outcomes in our brains forever. If we really are what we consume, a storytelling diet rich in decay, despair, and the evils of science will certainly influence how we, as readers, perceive the world. For this reason, I tend to agree with recent comments and editorials from Elizabeth Bear and Neil Stephenson that we need more optimism in SF. Granted, we may be facing a chicken or egg dilemma on this one. Are we reading depressing stories because we feel we live in depressing times or do we feel we live in depressing times because we read depressing stories?
John Campbell and many other editors have shown that editors too, can be agents of change in science fiction and society. In my role as volume editor and Far Orbit anthologist, I was uniquely positioned to set the tone for the anthology. Rather than writing about my preferences for more optimism, I decided to pay people for their optimistic SF stories. It seemed like a win-win solution to me. The result is Far Orbit: Speculative Space Adventures – a new anthology that’s science positive, fun to read, and embodies many of the elements found in classic, Grand Tradition science fiction. Long story short, we put our money where our heart is.
I hope Far Orbit finds a place in your heart too.
Far Orbit is available in Paperback and electronic versions from
Barnes & Noble
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…and general SciFi articles.
SciFi Writers – The Shamans of Modernity
SciFi and the Dangerfield Effect
SciFi Authors and Editors as Agents of Change
What Would Your Robot Say?
What Were the First SciFi Stories You Read?
Earth Day – April 22, 2014