Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Judging Science Fiction (part 2)

Avoid dates. If you offer a date in your story, or sometimes even a specific era, you're setting yourself up for some serious scrutiny. Think about it: Orwell's 1984 did not happen in 1984 (though it could be argued he was just a few decades early!) We were not traveling through our solar system in big starships in 2001 or even 2010. At least Arthur C. Clarke played it safer with 2061, and even safer than that with his final novel in the series, 3000! Specific time references allow your readers to check to see if you're right, and even if that date might be in the near or distant future, people will still look at where things are and project their opinion of whether your estimate of that future coming to pass is realistic or not. Leave specific dates to historical fiction, and use a slightly less defined window of time open for your vision.

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