The "Science Fiction" of the past has now simply become "Science". And the science of the future was strangely prophesied by a group of visionaries whose dreams once may have deemed them renegades and "mad scientists," have become reality!
I feel stuck, and when I feel stuck I watch TV. Most of the time I watch non-fiction television. Since I re-installed cable, I have a lot more and much better choices. My new favorite channel is the Science Channel. Where else can I get my Morgan Freeman fix and hear about the deeper questions in science? That's Through the Wormhole.
Then, there's Ridley Scott's Prophets of Science Fiction. I liked his Numbers for the most part and now, I get introduced to the interests of others influenced by the fathers (no mothers?) of our favorite genre. It was fun to see Harlan Ellison talking about Isaac Asimov, but it's more important than fun. I get reminded of how influential it can be to be a writer. What we think, matters, to someone. We have a responsibility to our readers to be honest, to look at the world honestly and report what we see.
Speculative fiction looks at the world we live in and imagines more, imagines deeply. S.G. Rogers talked about writing magic to express personal power. We may not read her stories that way but some part of us gets it. And, depending on how we feel about our own power to influence the world around us, we agree or disagree, we learn from or ignore whatever the lesson might be. When we write, we don't necessarily think about lessons. We just write.
The prophets of science fiction didn't necessarily intend to predict the future. Well, Arthur C. Clarke did, but generally, they just wrote sincerely. We reaped the benefit of their sincerity, though. Imagination, well attended to, rocks the universe.
Meanwhile, I'm trying to decide whether I like the new short story show on Science. I'll let you know next time.