Thursday, August 09, 2018

Iain M. Banks on FS and hell

“I think a lot of people are frightened of technology and frightened of change, and the way to deal with something you're frightened of is to make fun of it. That's why science fiction fans are dismissed as geeks and nerds.”

 - Iain M. Banks

 Do read this interview, it’s very interesting if you’re interested in SF and culture and literature.


Russ said...

Although I have yet to read Ian M. Banks, I found the interview interesting. I noticed that there were many references to William Gibson, one of my favorite SF authors. Do you know of any reason why that was the case? Do Banks and Gibson have similar writing styles?

I can understand why people are afraid of technology and change. Adjusting to flying in planes as opposed to traveling with horses then trains then cars is one thing, but the rate of change is increasing at an ever increasing rate. I used to write computer programs on punch cards and now AI is all the rage and we are on the brink of quantum computing. We currently have the technology to clone ourselves. No other generation in human history can come close to this rate of change.

Joe Dick said...

I wouldn't consider their styles similar, although I've read much more of Banks than Gibson. I liked Banks' writing, but he was a bit too far left for my taste - and I wouldn't consider myself to be a conservative. He was just too into that SJW stuff. I couldn't tell what he meant about a lot of classic sci-fi being kind of fascist.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

(Sorry I missed your comment, the notifications have been MIA.)

Gibson is not *that* similar, but actually he may be my second favorite SF author, so I was not that surprised. His earlier books are more SF.

Actually I kind of agree with Banks there. I only noticed after I found out how many classic hard SF authors admired people like Mussolini. But it’s clear that they often considered violence to be a good and necessary solution to many problems.

Joe Dick said...

I guess I haven't read enough classic SF, the only one I could think of who could be considered "fascist" is Heinlein. ...Although in the real world violence is sometimes a necessary evil, I can't imagine for example dealing with the Taliban through diplomacy...