A New Grammar for Science Fiction

Science Fiction is no longer a novelty.

We do not want to read Science Fiction because it is set in the future. Science Fiction must offer some deeper, truer view of ourselves and our place in the cosmos.


Caption Contest Winners and a Brief Commentary

Yesterday, we posted this pic of William Gibson wearing the new Google glasses and asked you all to post your best captions. We got a bunch of good one, mostly on our Facebook page (actually, on David's page), but we've picked a winner: The serendipitously-named Chris Bradbury's comment takes the cake - after all, that particular program is the REAL end-point to the whole arc of geek acceptance, right?

"Wait, I'm getting something. No, it's just a rerun of Big Bang Theory."

William Gibson, Google Glass

Chris gets a digital subscription for the cycle!

Runner-up prize goes to Pravic pal Forest Hughes, whose "The abyss stares back..." was poignant and sticks. Forest gets a digital copy of issue #2.

Some other notable entries from our Facebook page:

Mike Armstrong says:

"They ARE mine. Why would I share the...woah!"

Wa da Ta says:

"Your issue seems to be a 4th nipple"

Forest Hughes says:

"This isn't my prescription."

Pravic Co-editor David Gill (not eligible) says:

"You see those data towers out there in cyberspace represent your friends' progress playing Farmville."


And, because we like to climb the old soapbox around here, a brief commentary:

For those of us on the less optimistic side of the SF fence, there's a bit of the bizarre in this image that probably just isn't there for many of the author's fans. Ever careful to walk the line between cool critic and cool hunter, Gibson pulls readers of many outlooks, partially because he so thoroughly obscures his own - or at least he used to, though the open fetishism for arcane artifacts has become more pronounced in his work and in his public life in recent years. 

One potential problem with this sort of "moral silence" (or post-modernism, if you buy that line) is that everybody grafts on the worldview they want to believe the author has. More credulous cynics may still believe Gibson's vision is dystopian, but the hard-and-fast futurists who comprise a large segment of his readership don't. My bet is, they are experiencing zero cognitive dissonance when they see this picture. 

Sure, mega-corporations rule everything in Gibson's world, but isn't the Sprawl THE romantic vision for these fans? Isn't it freedom? The big, faceless bad guys provide the moral justification for being a loner and a pirate and a vigilante. Without the real chance for effecting large-scale social change for the better, you're free to do what you really want to do - get in adventures, pull hard cash, and still be a real punk - distant-eyed and self-destructive as you please. 

I don't claim to know any more about the inside of Gibson's head than his works arguably point to, but I have a sneaking suspicion that he was never doing anything but plugging that world, even if he wouldn't be interested in, or up to living, the lives of his characters . It's self-serving, not because it's his fantasy, but because it's ours (or so many of ours), and he knows it.