I want my sci-fi consumption to have a purpose, and thus I want sci-fi to have a purpose

Some people can watch a show and just enjoy it.

I am not one of those people.

Fiction that glorifies and celebrates technology is effectively making a promise to the audience.

That promise is: “Commit your resources – time, land, raw materials, money, people – to the development of technology, and you will reap rewards – prosperity, military power, medical advances, etc.”

Now, I should note that fantasy fiction promises little, if anything. At most, R. E. Howard’s Conan stories promise, “Trust your animal instincts, and you’ll be admirably savage!”


The thing about fantasy magic is that it’s NOT New Age magic. The people who promise that Tarot cards can tell your future are writing New Age books and self-discovery workshop manuals; for the most part, they are not writing fantasy fiction. Most of the people who write fantasy fiction are writing spectacles, not occult stories. The founders of the fantasy genre were those writers who broke away from the New Age. It’s fascinating to note that W. B. Yeats’ “Golden Dawn” crowd included very influential writers – Machen, Blackwood, arguably Bram Stoker – but what they wrote was New Age fiction or occult fiction, not fantasy fiction.

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