How many times during the past twelve months, when reflecting on the run-up to the Presidential election, have you thought, “This is too fantastic to be true”? The ongoing shenanigans by the most unlikely of Presidential candidates, now President-elect and the perpetual circus surrounding him, has perplexed even the most revered brainiacs.
The conundrum of fantasy vs. reality is a mainstay of another cultural phenomenon, Science Fiction. With a salute to irony, we could not help from noting that as 2017 begins what we can only expect to be a roller-coaster ride of fantastical proportions, January the 2nd is designated National Science Fiction Day. While not an official holiday of any sort, the day is unofficially celebrated by many science fiction fans in the United States. The date was chosen to correspond with the official birthdate of famed science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. A staunch supporter of the Democratic Party during the New Deal, Asimov remained a political liberal through his life. He considered himself a feminist even before Women’s Liberation and his last nonfiction book, Our Angry Earth (co-written with his long-time friend, science fiction author Frederik Pohl), deals with elements of the environmental crisis such as overpopulation, oil dependence, war, global warming, and the destruction of the ozone layer.
It’s fitting then, that we should start 2017 with an edition of Life Elsewhere devoted to Science Fiction. Four, well-respected masters of the genre will join us, Christopher Mari, Jeremy K. Brown, Kameron Hurley and Meg Elison. The four authors each have a captivating perspective on our world and the blurred line between fantasy and reality.