How science fiction beats hard science

How science fiction beats hard science

In 1945, physicist Frédéric Joliot-Curie threatened to go on strike if scientists’ findings were misused. What about science fiction writers who extrapolate it and use scientific knowledge to create a terrifying world?

Magic realism and scientific wonder

This is the question that was asked at the “Utopialis” festival, which was held in Nantes until November 5: Why and how does science fiction interweave hard science theories and existential contemplation? “Why” is anchoring yourself in reality. “ The reader must have a point of reference, to project themselves on, and understand that there are real issues in the story. », presented at a round table Florian SolasPhD in Mechanical Engineering and book author Forgot from the block (Utopiales Prize 2022).

I try to make my novels as believable as possible. We know we are going to say things that have not been proven, but the reader must believe them », he joins Pierre BourgetAbu Silence warriors. In this novel, he also had to revise the concepts of astronomy to make his world more realistic.

Small transitions to big changes in the scene

Then, by creating gaps with reality, and by introducing magical and fantastic elements, the book casts a new look at the reader’s reality. Installed in a familiar world, he realizes that he exists on another planet, in another possible world. As Florian Solas explains, “ I like to use familiar things and weave them more and more with strange elements. Then the turning point is reached. Describe the dump as if you were on Earth, then look up and realize you are in space. »

The benefit of this strangeness: questioning what the reader seems to have acquired. ” Science fiction explores rationalities. Searching for other meanings in the world. While the Western world is still immersed in the doctrine of rationalism, which consists in saying that the mind is one thing and not another thing “, the historian knows ugo Bellagamba, Who signs with Jean Barrett Julia’s worldpublished by Mnemos.

Disturbing the reader

By turning toward the “mad,” science fiction appropriates what science cannot explain. Moreover, this can explain the reluctance to read this type of literature. ” It brings us into contact with people who are very different from us, ideas that disturb us, shake us, and make us uncomfortable. But it is by accepting discomfort that we learn things », defends Florian Solas. But who notices that everyone has accepted the idea of ​​spaceships, even though they are not ready to see the light!

Pierre Bourdge concludes: “ Literature invites us to let go: to agree to let go of our preconceptions, to leave our comfort zones to gain a better understanding of the world. This allows them to be explored efficiently. For human exploration, the science fiction author has no rational limits “.

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