Via Charlie Jane Anders at i09
“[In] the Golden Age… there was an emphasis on writing for young people, to essentially hook them and get them excited about the genre, so they would become lifelong science fiction readers. And in those works, juveniles written by people like Heinlein and Asimov and Andre Norton and such, there was this sense that technology was good. Part of this was because many of these authors were trained as scientists themselves, engineers [or] physicists. There was the idea — a sense of wonder — that young people could grow up in to this new technological world and really change it and make it their own…”
“And [modern authors] are looking back at the legacy of what science is doing, has done, on everything from environmental issues to questions of weaponry and warfare, and they’re sort of taking stock of this, and I wouldn’t say necessarily that it’s all pessimism, but you don’t see the same sense of wonder balanced in the same way”
Read the whole thing here
I really don’t know from personal experience how the genre is changing, because I didn’t get into science fiction until I was an adult; I was a fantasy reader when I was young. And if you think about it, when Heinlein and Asimov were writing, technology was just starting to make everyday lives better, and now we have crisis on a daily basis. I think that writing reflects the times, and we happen to be living in a time where technology is doing as much harm as good. I think eventually we’ll go back to the hopeful kind of science fiction, we just have to get over this hurdle first.
Do you think Science Fiction is changing? Do you prefer the hopeful future novels or the realistic, pessimistic ones?