New interview with me
In which I talk about some current obsessions
Over at the Speculating Canada website, Derek Newman-Stille has a new interview with me in which he asks some pretty interesting questions--such as what science fiction can do that mainstream literature can't. I've answered to the best of my ability, and I had a lot of fun doing this interview.
As a teaser, check out the following exchange:
Spec Can: What can Speculative Fiction do that “realist” fiction can’t?
Karl Schroeder: Describe the real world.
Realism, in literature, painting, and science, is just the rule of the lowest common denominator. It’s not actually a successful stance in science, for instance; strictly realist approaches to quantum mechanics fall into paradox pretty quickly. Realism achieves some stability in understanding the world by simply discarding 99% of all the available data (whether that be measurements, opinions, or political stances). That’s what the muggles do in the Harry Potter stories: it’s not actually that they lack some magical gene or other that wizards have (like the midichlorians in Star Wars); it’s that they literally can’t see the magical in the world around them. They only think about, and therefore can only see, those things they’ve decided are ‘real.’ What’s that saying? “If all you’ve got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” That’s muggle thinking. (And by the way, having the Force be created by midichlorians makes the Star Wars universe a very muggle place.)