the basic failure of most all speculative fiction, both fantasy and scifi, is the failure to examine its societal pre-assumptions. they show worlds 1000 years in the future or the past or in a wholly separate universe, inhabited by people who, despite the presence of magic or hypertechnology & a completely different material circumstances, still basically live & think like 20th century westerners — and when they don't, it's virtually always shown as a moral or intellectual failing



You aren't wrong, but sf has also always been a vehicle for authors who envision societies quite different from modern western society.

For instance, Olaf Stapledon, Robert Heinlein, Cordwainer Smith, Frank Herbert, Joanna Russ, Ursula Leguin, Octavia Butler, Stanislaw Lem, A. E. Van Vogt, John Brunner, Phil Dick, Michael Moorecock, Phillip Jose Farmer, M. D. Cooper.

'Social Science Fiction' was one of Isaac Asimov's three 'types' of science fiction: gadget, adventure, and social.

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@hhardy01 heinlein would actually be my go-to example of what i'm talking about it scifi. many of his works — 'the puppet masters' and 'starship troopers' being the most glaring ones — are straight-up fascist propaganda

@hhardy01 i'm not condemning the entire genre here, i'm saying a large portion of authors fail to explore its full potential (aided, of course, by a publishing industry determined to give the audience only more of the same, but that's outside my scope here). le guin and butler for sure would be examples of authors who do do that

@esvrld @hhardy01 I love Heinlein but he's one of my first thoughts of "impressing our own social biases into our art without questioning them" when it comes to SF. Asimov is right up along side him.

@enby @esvrld

RH is "impressing our own social biases into our art without questioning them"?

Ok but...

The allegation was that the 'basic failure of most all speculative fiction' is 'the failure to examine its societal pre-assumptions.'

How can one read 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress", "Starship Troopers", "Time Enough for Love" and "Stranger in a Strange Land" and say that?

Asimov: The City and the Stars.

@enby @esvrld

Where I fault "classic" science fiction most is in the almost non-existent role of women. I am straining my brain for an ur-example of a strong female protagonist in science fiction literature...

*Jeopardy music* sf authors who handle women characters well, identify as women or trans/transitioning in the case of M. D. Cooper.

Le Guin, Margaret Atwood, Cooper, Joanna Russ, Butler, Kurtz, Tiptree, Collins, Vinge, Cherryh.

I am writing my 1st sf story now hope I do better.

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