WHY IS HARD SCIENCE FICTION SO UNREALISTIC?
In science fiction, people often confuse narrative realism with “hard,” or scientifically-accurate, storytelling. But in fact, hard science fiction is one of the most unrealistic subgenres of SF.
When you’re talking about storytelling, the term “realism” has a fairly specific definition that comes from the world of literature. In the late-nineteenth century, a new wave of novelists like Gustav Flaubert (author of Madame Bovary), George Eliot (Middlemarch) and Mark Twain (Huckleberry Finn) began to write stories about ordinary people’s everyday problems, in an effort to capture “real” human experience. They were in some ways revolting against the romantic tradition in literature, which was full of larger-than-life characters and stories that were often idealistic rather than realistic.
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REAL ALIENS MIGHT WANT TO KILL US? THAT IS WHAT SCIENTISTS ARE WORRIED ABOUT
The caution comes as more experts argue that the search for intelligent life should be stepped up.
Mr Marek Kukula, public astronomer at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, said: “Part of me is with the enthusiasts and I would like us to try to make proactive contact with a wiser, more peaceful civilisation.”
But he warned: “We might like to assume that if there is intelligent life out there it is wise and benevolent, but of course we have no evidence for this.
“Given the consequences of contact may not be what we initially hoped for, then we need governments and the UN to get involved in any discussions,” he told The Sunday Times.
This week a two-day conference is being held at the Royal Society in London, titled, ‘The detection of extraterrestrial life and the consequences for science and society.’
There is also an astrobiology conference in Texas in April at which new methods of detecting aliens will be discussed.
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How do you think aliens would act if they landed on Earth?