3 juli 2011 by Adam
class GeekScienceFiction extends ScienceFiction {

In recent years (or at least since the end of the previous century) a new strain of Science Fiction has been propagating in the literary biotope. It is a new variant that appears to be written by computer geeks for computer geeks.

The sub-genre is characterized by frequent use of concepts an terminology from the field of computer science, such as object oriented programming. One or more of the following themes are usually present:

  • cryptography
  • copyright and intellectual property
  • artificial intelligence
  • nanotechnology
  • the Singularity

There is definitely an overlap with the sub-genre postcyberpunk, and many of the authors can have either tag. However, the level of technological understanding expected of the reader is usually higher.

Examples of works that fit this label are Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson, Accelerando by Charles Stross and many short stories by Cory Doctorow. Since copyleft, open source and free software are highly regarded in the geek community, many of these stories are available under Creative Commons licences. I’ll link to a few at the end of this post.

I guess it’s not surprising that there has evolved a genre that caters to the tastes and interests of compuer geeks. Classic science fiction, with robots and space ships, has always had a large following among engineers and scientists. This is simply the next logical step. And the target group is growing steadily.

There’s one thing I’m curious about, however: Would anyone who’s not a computer geek appreciate this type of literature?

Thankfully, at least Stross’ Accelerando has a technical manual written by its fans: Accelerando Technical Companion



1 kommentar »

  1. The Accelerando manual is like fan non fiction.

    Kommentar by Anonym — 13 augusti 2011 @ 8:55

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