Because it’s May 4, I want to talk about science fiction, even though this post has nothing to do with Star Wars.
In November 2019, my NaNoWriMo novel was a sci-fi story called On Ice. It’s still in the freezer, waiting for me to take it out and revise it, but while it’s coming up to room temperature, I’d like to talk about the genre in general.
When I read sci-fi, I’m sometimes unconvinced. I think that sci-fi has great potential, but often it seems like the story is buried beneath military-style space travel, or it’s so technical that it becomes impossible to find human nature in it. There’s certainly room for talking about piloting ships and exploring the boundaries between humans and machines, but I think the mundane everyday aspects of people’s lives are often missing or underrepresented. In a universe of possibility, we need to find a balance between exploring the frontiers of technology, life, and existence, and the daily grind that I am sure even robots feel.
Besides daily life, sci-fi stories should always include relationships between characters, and also explore how those characters cope with space travel, high levels of technology, and machines with intelligence that rivals their own. How do the characters overcome hardship, become better people or robots, and how do they come to terms with the world (or worlds) around them?
Keep writing, and May the 4th be with you.