Science fiction pretends to look into the future but it’s really looking at a reflection of what is already in front of us.
—Ray Bradbury in an interview with the Paris Review
I really like that man, Ray Bradbury. Go read that interview, it so accurately describes why his voice is uniquely his.1 Even when he says he doesn’t like Vonnegut—I can respect that. Reading that interview I got so excited hearing about his writing process, about the early days of science fiction, about Mr. Electro. All of it. That quote played over and over in my head, that science fiction isn’t a far future pronouncement, but rather a take on today.
At some point I realized that it connected with what I read in the Task Newsletter #2 about mundane science fiction. It is about our near future realities, the incremental steps. Mundane science fiction is not about escapism, that we can’t just peace out at the speed of light once we’ve fucked the Earth. “That the most likely future is one in which we only have ourselves and this planet.”2
This can be seen as a negative or bleak position, but I think it can inspire a meaningful response. Things like experimental and more efficient architecture, transportation, or ways of living. A reassessment of our current trajectory, I hope.