So, I have a nonfiction piece up on Clarkesworld Magazine, one of the best science fiction magazines out there. This post covers a topic that I’ve been wanting to write about for a while now: how Mars was discovered, but also how as we learned more about it, our stories changed.
This is one of the distinguishing features of science fiction, I think. Looking over the genre’s entire body of literature, you can see how authors have updated their depictions of a place in near-real time. The stories put together by authors like Wells and Bradbury are radically different than that of Robinson and Weir.
Moreover, this subject is a really interesting way to see how scientific innovation, research and discovery actively and directly impact the arts world. Authors such as Kim Stanley Robinson and Andy Weir were reading the latest research to come from probes and scientists.
When it comes to defining science fiction, many people point to a common definition: ‘Science Fiction is fiction that cannot exist without a scientific component.’ I think that an alternative should be considered: that science fiction literature is a genre that would never have existed without various scientific and industrial revolutions, and which directly comments on said impact of such revolutions.