I also read a review
of Who Fears Death?
where the reviewer seemed somewhat unclear whether or not the Nuru were literally
aliens... when to me they seem obviously Sudanese Arabs with a creation myth.
I'm not saying either McCalmont or de Fillippio don't have interesting points to make about the novel, but slips like that just seem a little big for me.
And if we didn’t understand the present, what hope did we have for the future? The accelerating rate of change has inevitably affected the futures that appear in our fictions.
I reject this point utterly. One of the best things about well-written sf is that it can
help us make sense of our world,
I think that was Kincaid's point though. When sci-fi writers invest in the Singularity and thus the idea that the future is unknowable, they're left with sci-fi that isn't really engaging with the future.
in 20-40 years it's likely we'll be experiencing the science fiction.
I'm talking to you via cyberspace.
And before that, the Moon Landing.
And before that, Sputnik.
And before that, the Atom Bomb.
And before that
, the Wright Brothers.
That today's science fiction can have elements that we'll actually see in the future is something that we've lived with almost as long as it's been recognized as a genre. But which elements, and how, and why, those are trickier questions. It's frankly interesting to read sci-fi novel from say as recent as the mid-1990s and then see the bits where a character is searching for commonly known data - it almost always seems like they'd be better served with google.