03.09.2012 - Culture

Between parable and tale

Science fiction – a genre with a rich but often overlooked features. Fantastic literature is, perhaps, from the time when man learned to write, because we have learned to dream before. This genre is not to say neutral: it or idealize, or shame. Although conventionally called Hidden different directions, the authors and motives. This literature in literature and art, is divorced from modernity: technological progress, postmodern trends, and unfortunately, commercialization. But it certainly can, it will reflect the world in its original projection.


What is fiction

Such large-scale genre divided into science fiction and fantasy (the latter name arose from the fact that the term «fantasy fiction» translated as “fantastic fiction” as treated barbarism). Science fiction, often referred to simply as NF, focuses on the technical achievements, progress and future society. However, in contrast to the dystopia, social change does not give much attention, and the future can be bright and. But the fantasy – it is only the author’s flight of imagination, fictional worlds of their own laws, fantastic creatures, magic. Although usually it’s styled with a terrestrial ages.

Underlying all is a fantastic clearance. That is what the real modern world can not be. This is where lies the difference between the two areas of fiction. In science fiction admission interesting because they are quite realistic. For once humanity can create intergalactic spaceship, alternative energy sources, as well as created a computer and robot. And last a long time been the subject of fiction. Admission fantasy can not exist.

The smallest of reality departed alternative story in Ukraine called “yakbytolohiyeyu.” And it reaches the roots not somebody flames, and science synergy, in which is based on the idea of a bifurcation point. That is, there are certain moments when the story can go different ways. Imagine these ways need to make appropriate conclusions and to avoid mistakes (not surprisingly, that Ukraine lacks such material). Doing this can be a chronicle (resemble “classical” NF, where the description of the mechanism was more important than the biography of the hero) or adventure story. Interesting, is not it? That’s just one problem. Instead of analyzing history, almost every author wants to at least on paper, not obdilyty lyubu his nation or country virtues and valor. So, in “ideologically correct” alternative history (AI, as fans call it) of the first page should be clear that ethnic or political idea advocated by the author. Therefore, this kind of gradually migrates to the domain ahitpropu.

Read or not read?

Reasons that takes the reader into the hands of a volume of fiction, can be varied. This is a simple curiosity, and desire to learn the views of the world famous (or unknown) of the author, and scientific interest (the latter applies only to science fiction). In a word, no different from other literary genres.

But more often read fiction for the same reason that children and fairy tales. Man banal interesting new things, and nothing of the shame. That is why in the last century people read travel sketches and geographical atlases. But the Earth has opened nearly all calculations and microbiologists interested paleoklimatolohiv few new and still want. And, of course, the modern pace of life begat a desire to distract from urban environment and reality in general. The latter cause contributes and is likely to continue to contribute more popular fantasy than science fiction. After all, the era of knights, castles and unspoilt nature plunge aesthetically pleasant than in the era of cold space, cities on a planet and destructive mechanisms.

But the reasons not to read – more. There are people who simply do not like the genre, and it is normal for mandatory literature we have since 1991.

And many believe that science fiction – a genre and not serious, but fancy, nothing under a no. And write it, they say, only eskapisty. I read the same. But in fact, to write, you have the perfect idea. Of course, if you are a talented author.

The only exception – the USSR. There eskapizm flourished in full. If the author would not write about the heroism of the glory of the party, or to achieve collective farm “Way of communism”, he remained two directions – a fantastic historical and Literature. However, and this paradox, this literature was not simply close the then generation and relevant to the present day.

In the Union there was the term “social science fiction.” There absented some dystopia, but primarily it was a NF. Futuristic entourage does not prevent Belyaev and brothers Strugatsky violate ethical issues familiar to us for traditional realistic works. Moreover, in this genre can discuss the development of society. This works surprisingly universal. “Eternal Bread” Belyaeva – reply utopia, as ancient and modern. And online supporters and opponents of the Soviet Union still trying to find out: Strugatsky criticized society of consumers or ideological fanatics? This means that the authors have achieved their goal.

Tamara Starchenko, candidate of philological sciences, professor, literary critic, says:

“Of course, the dystopia as a genre other than fantasy, more pronounced features of literature, but depending on the author. In general, the value of the work depends on the talent of the author. Beautifully written fiction work also leaves a deep impression. Take the novels Belyaeva, and in particular ‘Eternal bread. ” All those problems now facing humanity, they are there, albeit in a fantasy dimension in fantastic forms, but they are well served “

What can fiction

Each fantastic piece has two layers. First – this exciting adventure hero who has a natural (or supernatural) human characteristics, needs and desires. And second – the vision of the fundamental problems, ethics and philosophy of the work. Is it really interesting adventures and how deep philosophy – depends only on the labels. But good science fiction always be two layers.

Any fiction as dystopia, not devoid of ethical and prognostic features. That’s just “research subjects” they are different. In ethical terms are the same as in other areas. This is logical, because the eternal problem of how and ever, to remain in their time of invention, a wheel and teleport.

From the prognostic function difficult. Science fiction claim to it because of the name. It is a glimpse into the future and gives it depth. How to change the technical inventions of humanity? How ethical is cloning, moving in time, invasion of privacy? What is more important – to conquer the galaxy or to provide a happy life on Earth? These questions better answer now.

It is believed that fantasy does not perform any functions. But initially it was not. The same Tolkien, who is considered the founder of the genre, and laid in the “Lord of the Rings” so many ideas that sufficed for accusations ultrakonservatyzmi, promoting intolerance and racism. The charges, of course, unreasonable and unprincipled to work so much attention is not.

Besides fiction traditionally serves ridiculing social disadvantages. Started this tradition is Francois Rabelais. Next was “The Adventures of Gulliver” Swift and “Yankee at the court of King Arthur” Mark Twain. These works have become classics. A story Strugatsky, where mock bureaucracy and dogmatism, and modern science-fiction comedy set keep pace. And this is their value.

In the Service of Science and Commerce

That’s just the way of commercialization is omnipresent. Thus, it became advantageous to copy Tolkien. Imitators followed all the features work of Professor (as the author of “The Lord of the Rings” fans nicknamed), but successful. As a result, there was a “mandatory program” fantasy, which included a fight between good and evil (the words written in capital letters only), a group of ideal heroes, magic, idealistic world. It was a mixture of medieval life with typical humanistic attitude to man and hygiene procedures and Ancient Greece. Wanting to break the canon was very little, and read sample pieces – not much more.

More fun things went in the post-Soviet Russia gained popularity ‘Slavic fantasy. ” Return to their culture – it was good. But in practice it has grown into the current “anything – to Slavic.” Here, as an alternative history, purely literary value of lost the desire to prove that we can, “the West”. But the Ukrainian-fiction in general is not found, because, as mentioned above, an important advantage here.

Surprisingly, science fiction in such circumstances, felt better, its commercialization affected less. And the source of eternal themes – is technological progress. When we speak of progress, remember Isaac Asimov. Science fiction thoroughly described the behavior of robots, which are the embodiment of everything created by man. The technical side stories very old, but the idea of actual and out. This basic idea is this: people think that made it all but always can happen otherwise. Unfortunately, the idea that the invention should be safe, and then immediately useful, not caught, remember at least nuclear power.

If we read that the author reveals the theme of militarism, the problem of overpopulation of the Earth, the status of religion, ideology – it may interest us. And it does not matter that this author – and talking about Robert Anson Heinlein – chose science fiction, aligning it with journalism.

And if you still think that science fiction as defined by light and not serious – read Frank Herbert, who is considered the founder of a separate pidzhanru “philosophical fiction”. He famous series “Dune”, which own adventures set aside a minimum of attention. In the first place philosophical thought, political intrigue and – attention – environmental issues! And even if science caught here, the boundaries of fiction is already there.

Still, it develops!

Paradoxically, one of the authors of the coup in fantasy began to write about money and not hide it. Polish writer Andrzej Sapkovskoho stimulated the desire to write is not easy money, and the need to feed themselves in depressed Poland. But the main thing – he did not recognize the canons and was able to write. Because of this moral issue are very sharp and hard. For example, the ideal hero fantasy will never break the oath. And that, as only a violation will save a lot of people? Numerous legends and fairy stories writer plays so that they become the moral dilemma. In fairy-mythological genre introduced different problems: the right to be a racist. Postmodernism in its pure form.

Mr. Sapkovskyy, comes not from prosperous Europe, with newly liberated Poland, brought a new understanding of western fiction war. Not one heroic case, where heroes are smiling and the terrible, cruel, meaningless battles, which completes the change of ownership of a piece of land (Those interested can find analogies of “Farewell to Arms”).

At the same time (a change in any area held by several people) in George Martin a new trend – pseudo-epic fantasy. Simply put, the historical novel in a fictional world. Deep philosophy readers do not have. But have brilliantly recreated medieval mentality (and real, not idealized), realistic and instructive adventure novel (“Song of Ice and Fire”). Even with the claim of certain political ideas.

In science fiction robots to replace punch cards came to Cyberpunk. In the subculture it has nothing to do. The name caught on to the direction of fiction, which depicts the effects of computerization, virtualization world. Computer addiction ‘golden billion’ attempts media and corporations to control our desires – all of which now does not seem so fantastic, so the authors brilliantly anticipated reality. By genre can rejoice, but for society – no.

As you can see, science fiction – a genre very viable, and its problems will never lose their relevance. It should not be compared with other areas, and should simply evaluate because it can perform its specific task.

And every time we dream to be unreal world

or talk about the prospects zalyudnennya space, once again proves that such a direction we need!

Yuri Prymachuk