All Work and No Play

Oct 8, 07:07 by IROSF
Comment below!
Oct 8, 18:00 by Athena Andreadis
Great article! I registered the Victorian prudery clearly while writing my book on the biology of Star Trek and the joylessness of the Star Wars universe while writing my article for Strange Horizons. A few SF authors, Le Guin prominently among them, do celebrate everyday living, which includes music, sex, making and eating food.

If Jack Dull indeed earns the future, we may question what kind of a future it will be and if we really want to live in it (and what we'll become if we do create such a future and live in it). The distaste for the body and its perceived or real limitations is another aspect of dualism. Body versus mind, this life versus the next, nature versus culture. The fact that it's a central tenet of many religions (transhumanism included) is not surprising, given the gender and worldview of most religion founders. It's also worth noting that most pagans considered the body and the mind/spirit equally worth of nurturing (the Greeks, for example).

I discussed these issues in my essay If I Canít Dance, I Donít Want to Be Part of Your Revolution! Brief excerpt:

After all, neither transhumanism nor cyberpunk are monolithic, they come in various shades ofÖ and then it hit meÖ gray. Their worlds contain little color or sound, few scents, hardly any plants or animals. Food and sex come as pills, electric stimuli or IV drips; almost all arts and any sciences not related to individual enhancement have atrophied, along with most human activities that donít involve VR.

Athena Andreadis
Oct 8, 23:19 by John Shirley
I like the All Work and No Play article. Much truth in it. I'll just say that Robert Sheckley (there are plans for a Sheckley homage anthology I am supposed to be in) and Rudy Rucker provide fun in the future. Along with some grim stuff...There is of course a small subgenre of humorous science fiction stories including, even, my Quill Tripstickler stories (The Mag of Fantasy and Science Fiction long ago). Repent Harlequin, Said the Tick Tock Man comes to mind...

The smart money re sf and spirituality is with a recognition of a balance struck, as humanity discovers that the material is spiritual and the spiritual material ("My teaching is more materialistic than materialism"--GI Gurdjieff). The Tao of Physics, yes, but also there's the Zen of Physics, one presumes, wherein one works in the physical world with Zazen mindfulness: another area where, in fiction, Rudy Rucker has been a frontiersman...
Oct 18, 01:47 by Aaron Singleton
two words for you: Jack Vance. One more: Hussade. Featured in all of the Alastor Cluster novels, it is a sport played over a deep pool the object of which is to denude the opposing team's Sheirl (girl in white dress with pull ring). Sounds like fun to me!
Oct 18, 15:26 by Athena Andreadis
Would have been far more fun if the object were a Dick: boy in white loincloth with pull ring. More challenging, too (smaller target, in many senses of the term).

Want to Post? Evil spammers have forced us to require login:

Sign In




NOTE: IRoSF no longer requires a 'username' -- why try to remember anything other than your own email address?

Not a subscriber? Subscribe now!

Problems logging in? Try our Problem Solver