Monday, 26 March 2012

Read any good sly-fi?

More inspiration for gaming and wider fiction, like the space plasma and symbiogenesis posts, but more like those on geoengineering and warming, and maybe even comment forms teaching an AI.

This time it's about helium, a gas with a range of applications, some arguably critical.

But there's not much on Earth, and even less because the market price has collapsed thanks to a timed sell-off of stores. The good news is the moon seems to have a lot...

The fiction? What if a sell-off was designed to cause a shortage and create an economic incentive, in this case for private spaceflight? Providing transport to the moon for helium extraction could be highly lucrative, and a decade or so is good lead-time; a consulting role in exchange for support might seem a smart career move. For bonus plot strands, some of those involved might want to cut funds to projects for ideology or appropriation.

More? From the blogs, how about this suggestion of western self-deception re Chinese military development, or this challenge to a buttress of modern physics, Mr Einstein's special relativity, or this look at the failings of reason itself in contemporary culture?

I need a label for these posts, so I'll propose a possible new genre. Here's a definition:

sly-fi (n., pl. -s)  a fictional genre consisting in the interpolation of feasible secret histories from reported facts and their elaboration in other settings

That's the label I'll use from now on, so you can find all the posts, including this, here.


Lead Legion said...

Nice. Thanks for those links Porky. I'll be checking them out.

Porky said...

No trouble - the three blog posts in the fifth paragraph especially are great reads, and likely to be fine stimulation whatever the view the reader takes - assuming a view, or just the one view, even needs to be taken.

Jennie said...

If I understand the concept, I think Tim Powers may have been the first sly-fy author.

I'd love to play with this a little myself, but I'd really love to see where you take it.

Porky said...

He's in there for sure, in the sense that the world in which a given story is set may seem to be ours, but probably isn't, wholly anyway. And of course being historical from the point of view of the writer and the audience, it has to involve a certain degree of creative interpretation even beyond the fantastical. I can see sub-genres emerging here too. Feel free to dive right in - I have no claim to any of it of course, and no plans to actually write anything just yet. The same is true for me: I'd love to see where you take it..! And it's very good to have you back.