I wrote a guest post for the lovely Book Smugglers on my favourite and disappointing reads of the year, so if you’re interested in that, check it out.
I’m that worst kind of reader. I can never make up my mind what to read and when; I decide what to read purely on whims; I turn into an absolute emo when I can’t find what I want to read. But, that said, I’ve read some really interesting books this year. I’m still blaming writing for making me not keep up with as many current genre books and authors as I’d like to, and it’s why I stay tuned to the blogosphere so much – so I can at least watch from the sidelines. So you’ll probably see my reading list consisting mainly of older books.
And I really liked this quote from Adam Roberts’ otherwise critical review of Tron, and thought it worth highlighting:
Of course, the styling was retro; but that’s a feature, not a bug. Because SF only appears to be about the future; it is actually always about the past – Star Wars (also inventively pastiched in this movie) has more in common with the Dam Busters and medieval Japan than any future space empire; Philip K Dick writing in the 1960s and 1970s always about 1950s US suburbia, Dune taking us back to medieval Arabia rather than forward into the future. And so on. This movie understands that, at least on the level of its visual logic.
I really liked that comment as well, which to me speaks about futurism being a mix of nostalgia for a past that has come and gone and may have in fact never been at all, with what we hope or fear shall someday be again.
A once and future past, endlessly revolving and which we see in so many novels of the farthest flung future which despite high-tech trappings such as laser beams and jeweled flying launches, is all but medieval in structure and society.
I like this because I can’t believe in the futures offered by more “pure” hard science futurists – especially the more optimistic ones. I don’t think the human race has a long range future and if it does, it will be one of mixed sorrows and badly tarnished glories.
If the future exists at all for the human race, I don’t doubt we’d fail to recognize ourselves were we to reach it.