Essay: Different Modes within Science Fiction

Sample Essay

Words 3,476

This essay discusses different modes within Science Fiction. If you have ever read C.S. Lewis’s wonderful burst of whimsical poetry “Jabberwocky” you have been treated to some wonderful nonsense. But what is most striking about the poem is not Lewis’s ability to create words out of whole cloth, but that we can almost understand what it is that he is saying – even though he isn’t really saying anything at all. And the reason that we can understand the gist of this poem is that when Lewis – and anyone – writes in nonsense, they still use the basic syntax and phonics of their native language.

Introduction

If you have ever read C.S. Lewis’s wonderful burst of whimsical poetry “Jabberwocky” you have been treated to some wonderful nonsense. But what is most striking about the poem is not Lewis’s ability to create words out of whole cloth, but that we can almost understand what it is that he is saying – even though he isn’t really saying anything at all. And the reason that we can understand the gist of this poem is that when Lewis – and anyone – writes in nonsense, they still use the basic syntax and phonics of their native language.

The same thing is true when we create future worlds: We use the grammar of the present to create a vision of the what the world will be like in the future. Every vision of the future is directly dependent upon how we see the present. This is true whether the future that we are envisioning is the near future – 30 or 50 years in the future, the setting of so many science fiction novels and movies – or the very distant future. However, the grammar of the present is, as we might expect, more powerful when addressing the near future than when addressing the distant future.

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