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March 21st, 2011

Waspy musings from six years ago

A recent post on Tor.com bypapersky discussed Eric Frank Russell's book Wasp and the discussion around it was great fun. It reminded me of something I had written, but I had to dig deep to find it... it was for The Tablet (a British Catholic newspaper who occasionally run my stuff) in the lead-up to Interaction, the worldcon in Glasgow in 2005, trying to explain the world of SF to interested, educated mundanes. So this is six years old...

Here's the operative paragraph:

"...the most profound insights in science fiction may be its illustrating the social consequences of technology. Few descriptions of today’s multi-national corporations are as chilling, or accurate, as John Brunner’s Stand on Zanzibar -- published in 1968. Contemporary issues of privacy, identity, and political revolution in a wired world were thoroughly explored in Poul Anderson’s "Sam Hall" -- published in 1953. For a lesson on how not to confront terrorism, our politicians should read Eric Frank Russell’s short novel Wasp -- published in 1957. If science fiction fans have a reputation for brusk social manners, it may simply be born of their frustration with a world that’s decades behind them."

Here's the whole article, behind the cut...


 


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