Re: Social Science Fiction?

Michael Lorrey (
Mon, 15 Mar 1999 00:22:50 -0500

The Baileys wrote:

> While I've been impressed by the host of authors that have attempted to
> extrapolate current trends in science in technology to write books couched
> in science fiction, I've noticed a paucity of books that attempt to
> extrapolate on social systems. Many great "hard" science fiction novels
> appear to be set in a far future with social systems that are essentially
> the same as the ones we see today or have seen in the past. I suspect this
> is a product of most good "hard" science fiction writers not being extremely
> versed in sociology, economics, and political science. Anyone know of
> examples of writing that attempt to extrapolate both the science and the
> technology along with their effects on society to produce novel and
> innovative social systems?

What do you mean by social systems? I find that many of the great science fiction writers do so as a matter of course. Heinlein developed several, and Bujold's novels in her Vorkosigan universe shows several as well. Damien's The White Abacus also is an excellent example. The limitation I think that you may be thinking of isn't a matter of what writers are capable of, but what humanity is capable of dealing with realistically and still remain human. The more odd a social system is, the more fitting it is with an alien species...

   Michael Lorrey, President
                        Lorrey Systems
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