Friday, September 14, 2012

On Writing: Getting Speculative

      About two thirds of the fiction I’ve penned since my writing rebirth in the summer of 2010 has been speculative, stuff that straddles the intersection of what is, what could be, and what I’d like to be possible. (Although, really, I’d argue that all fiction is speculative, written with the intention of answering small and large “what if” questions.)
      I’m posed on the edge of my next big project, 50,000 words of pulp sci-fi, and I took a minute to dig through my “inspirational quote” files to see what the masters could offer me in the way of advice. Here’s what I found:

For me science fiction is a way of thinking, a way of logic that bypasses a lot of nonsense. It allows people to look directly at important subjects.
- Gene Roddenberry, creator of "Star Trek"

"The reality of science is that it takes 40 years to get to Jupiter, and that's a dull show."
- Glen Morgan, producer of sci-fi series "Space: Above and Beyond"

"It makes you wonder, doesn't it? Just how normal are we? Just who are the people we nod our hellos to as we pass on the street? A rather good question to ask — particularly in 'The Twilight Zone'."
- Rod Serling

"You don't respect those people very much, because you're young and arrogant. But I don't respect them very much either, because I'm old and wise."
- Neal Stephenson, "Snow Crash"

“Science-fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.”
- Isaac Asimov

Science fiction is the most important literature in the history of the world, because it's the history of ideas, the history of our civilization birthing itself. ...Science fiction is central to everything we've ever done, and people who make fun of science fiction writers don't know what they're talking about.
- Ray Bradbury

Science-fiction balances you on the cliff. Fantasy shoves you off.
- Ray Bradbury

I don't have to write about the future. For most people, the present is enough like the future to be pretty scary.
- William Gibson

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