is for Genre
In the genre of science fiction, authors take current social mores and technology and project how that might change in the future. One example of this is “Star Trek” and communicators. In “Trek”, Gene Roddenberry imagined how people might communicate in the future and came up with the small, handheld devices. It’s no coincidence that when real life engineers were designing handhelds they used the communicator as a model and came up with the flip phone. Incidentally, modern smart phones appear modelled after another “Trek” device, the PADD (personal access display device).
In Phase Shift, museums on Gaia meld high and low tech in their dioramas. A description follows:
…the display was lifeless, a series of plaster casts of various skeletal remains sitting dully on a number of podiums, arranged in chronological order according to the era of each animal’s evolution. Now, one by one, each piece of bone is animated in turn. I watch as the first skull grows holographic muscle and skin and then rotates a full three hundred and sixty degrees on its podium. Following that, the hologram grows a body, a three-dimensional representation of what Gaians believe the animal to have looked like when alive. The three-D body comes away from the skull on the podium and it, too, rotates full circle. Lastly, for its magnum opus, the hominid looks me square in the eye and takes a series of steps toward me, leaving the diorama behind. Once more it rotates a full three hundred and sixty degrees before vanishing into thin air. It takes almost a full five minutes for each specimen on the Gaian human evolutionary line to cycle through its trip down the runway.
When the last specimen has finished, the gallery is once more still.
Here, holographic technology is melded with a low-tech plaster diorama to create an interactive museum display. Given the state of holographic technology today, it’s not such a long stretch to assume one day the two might be joined to make history come to life for museum patrons.
The key to writing science fiction is to make it plausible. Readers should be able to imagine a future in which the technology and social structures might exist.
How many genres of literature can you think of? Write them below and I’ll compile a master list and share it in a future blog post.