Thursday, June 7, 2012

Is It Science Fiction?


I'm not sure what sci fi is these days. I've always loved PKD, who used science fiction settings, but wrote about what was concerning him in the present. It's the main reason why his work hold up, year after year. A Scanner Darkly was set in 90s California, which was in the future when it was written. Twenty years after the time of its setting, the novel still seems true, the humor and tragedy of the story have lost nothing.

My story is set in the 2050s. There are hovercars but no cellphones. Theater has enjoyed a resurgence because Hollywood, along with the rest of Southern California, was destroyed in the long predicted big one. But the thing I am really writing about has nothing to do with technology, even if I use futuristic technology to throw it into relief. I'm writing about people, like you and me, and how they interact.

I'm hoping it will be an entertaining story, as well. There's a villain and a good guy.

Ultimately, it probably doesn't matter what I label it. Either people will read it or they won't. If they do read it, they'll come up with their own conclusions. Why did I choose a future setting? I think because I needed some distance from the subject matter. I needed to destroy Hollywood because it feels too close; it still has tendrils in me. I couldn't write about L.A. (except in the past tense) because I miss it and don't want to indulge in potentially fatal homesickness.

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