Warren Ellis on life in the science fiction condition

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7 Responses to “Warren Ellis on life in the science fiction condition”

  1. Stefan Jones says:

    This speech / essay reminded me a lot of the speech / essays that Bruce Sterling churned out in his ass-kicking-the-future prime* . . . as transcribed in his CATSCAN column in Science Fiction Eye.

    Warren’s essay is a sort of meta-futurism, much more useful than tedious gadget-wanking which passes  for futurism in the mass media.

    * Not that Sterling doesn’t still kick ass . . . it’s just in a different circle of interests.

  2. robcat2075 says:

    ” Can you even consider being part of a culture that could go to space and then stopped?”

    Yes. Consider Italy that tried to expand over the available world (AKA the Roman Republic and Empire) but produced a far greater explosion of art and culture after they gave up the territorial empire and turned their energies inward to projects other than physical distance.

    They traveled as far as their technology could take them, but there were diminishing returns with those farther reaches. There were greater returns to be had at home.

    When they started dreaming of empire again in the 20th Century they became culturally ordinary again.

    The space travel of sci-fi would be great, but the space travel of the real universe will have diminishing returns as it attempts to extend farther out.

  3. kstop says:

    You’d have to jump pretty hard to get into orbit from only 24km up, even on Mars. 

  4. AviSolomon says:

    kstop, don’t think he meant it that literally:)
    Ellis is probably alluding to Rene Daumal’s Mount Analogue:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Analogue

  5. miasm says:

    well I just think we should take care of all of the problems we have at Olympus Mons base camp before we go trekking up the slopes to the top. ;p

  6. Frank Diekman says:

    “Captain Kirk had to tune his fucking communicator and it couldn’t text or take a photo that he could stick a nice Polaroid filter on.”

    Well, duh! That’s what the tricorder is for!

  7. GregS says:

    “Can you even consider being part of a culture that could go to space and then stopped”

    Don’t need to imagine it. We’re living in that culture, at least for manned space flight. 40 years ago America had the capability of sending men to the moon. Now they can’t even send them into orbit, and don’t seem to particularly care about it. 

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