Michael Brookes writes a guest post discussing the science fiction genre:
For me the greatest part of the science fiction genre is the big ideas. More than any other genre, science fiction tackles huge concepts. It’s not just about space, or the future, although both of those concepts often feature. In a sense this is what separates good science fiction from the poor. That and good writing of course.
What do I mean by a big idea?
Ian M Banks provides many examples of this. In Excession he introduces the concept of a being so powerful that even a race that can manipulate spacetime find themselves outclassed. Again using Banks as an example he often explores the consequences of machine sentience. In Surface Detail he writes about the afterlife and the list goes on.
Other great science fiction authors do the same. Peter Hamilton in the Reality Dysfunction trilogy questions the nature of reality itself. William Gibson spawned his own genre with his books examining cybernetic and information technology.
Over and over again science fiction authors ask the question of what can be or how things are. But they are not alone. In my current trilogy I tackle a big idea of my own. Well, not quite of my own. Since the dawn of time humans have questioned their own existence and that of the universe around us. Along the way many great people have discussed or written about that subject. The most pertinent of which is John Milton.
John Milton wrote Paradise Lost, a book I consider to be the greatest story ever written, in it he deals with some of the biggest questions of all. Where do we come from? How was the universe created?
Questions so big many people are still trying to answer those questions today.
In Conversations in the Abyss I tackle the same questions, although from a more modern perspective. One of the aspects of the story that always intrigued me was the treatment of God. In Paradise Lost he isn’t portrayed in a good light. I’m sure this wasn’t Milton’s intention, but it raised an interesting question.
What if it were true?
Michael Brookes is an Executive Producer with a leading UK games developer. Working in games and writing are two of his life passions and considers himself fortunate to be able to indulge them both. He lives in the east of England, enjoying starry skies in the flattest part of the country. When not working or writing he can sometimes be found sleeping. Which is good as that is where many good ideas come from.
Conversations in the Abyss is the sequel to the 5 star rated supernatural thriller The Cult of Me, and is now available to buy from Amazon: