Science fiction predictions VII

“Huxley’s Bad Trip”, An introduction to the Folio Society edition of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, 2013, Ursula K. Le Guin.

“The cautionary novel does what many people assume all science fiction does: it predicts the future. However much they may exaggerate dramatically or satirically, predictive writers extrapolate immediately from fact. And, believing that they know what’s going to happen in the future, for good or for evil, they want the reader to believe it too. A great deal of science fiction, however, has nothing to do with the future, but is a playful or serious thought experiment, such as H. G. Wells’s War of the Worlds or Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles. Thought experimenters use fiction to recombine aspects of reality into forms not meant to be taken literally, only to open the mind to possibility. They don’t deal with belief at all.

This distinction enforced itself on me when I realised that Huxley himself appears to have believed quite literally in his prediction.”

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