the basic failure of most all speculative fiction, both fantasy and scifi, is the failure to examine its societal pre-assumptions. they show worlds 1000 years in the future or the past or in a wholly separate universe, inhabited by people who, despite the presence of magic or hypertechnology & a completely different material circumstances, still basically live & think like 20th century westerners — and when they don't, it's virtually always shown as a moral or intellectual failing


@esvrld my take is that speculative fiction exists to hold a mirror to our world, but what the mirror reflects is down to the choices made by the author. Some of those choices won't be conscious but reflect the author all the more clearly for that.

@robotcarsley @esvrld speculative fiction should ask a question, then examine it. What question is asked, and what evidence the author allows, speak volumes about the author and what agenda they're pushing. My own Venleitche started out with the question, what if karma was real, and the magic of the world brought back the impact of everything you did? How do crappy people try to get away with stuff in such a world? What problems arise that still require adventurers?

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