[ExI] sf with pathos

Tom Nowell nebathenemi at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Apr 20 10:31:11 UTC 2009

While it may seem that technophobic SF sells better and has a big place in the market, there's a lot of genres which distort reality colossally in the name of book sales.

If you read Dan Brown and his imitators, then history is a lie, most archaeologists are just making it up, but a lone handsome maverick genius can decipher some ancient riddle, decipher the secret meaning the ancient wisdom hinted at and find the buried treasure that will overturn our view of history in a couple of weeks.

If you read a spy story, then either the government is evil and trying to enslave everybody and only a lone maverick can save the common man, or there are evil conspiracies everywhere but don't worry, one guy with a gun can kill all the bad guys with no consequences AND get the girl.

If you read any story following the John Grisham vein, there is bound to be a miscarriage of justice or three but our brave lawyer will save the day (even though in reality miscarriages of justice often take decades to resolve).

It's a wonder we have faith in ANY human institutions if we go by the example of fiction. It's probably helpful to the continued existence of civilisation that most people will just watch soap operas (exaggerated versions of their own emotional problems) and mass sports (contests designed to entertain) and game shows (ditto) and whatever Simon Cowell's presenting this week. 



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