Friday, June 22, 2012

Belters, Lunies, Marties, Venonaults : today's Skygods

   Yesterday's Skygods, the military airplane pilots of the 1910s to the 1950s, are so, well , yesterday.
    Their battles with those old fashioned military leaders still trying to fight static wars of trenches dug deep into the soil, are also so over. So very very  yesterday.
   No, today's Skygods are those among today's billionaires who are obsessed with space exploration, mining and settlement : call them Lunies, Belters, Marties or Venonaults depending upon whether the Moon, the Asteroid Belt, Mars or Venus is their all-consuming interest.

   Think of them (as they think of themselves) as pioneers of the North American West or Alaska, but extended forward in time a century or two and extended vertically a few million miles up into the sky, into the real High Frontier.
   In university English departments, we are customarily taught that cutting edge fiction reflects (and reflects upon) current reality.
   But in the case of today's Skygods, as in the past , exciting fiction leads on mundane reality, like a Greek Siren leads on an ancient sailor.
   But if we have located the new heroes of hardcore SF (denier lit aka denier porn), where and who are the new villains in this potently Manichean mix of bad acid and worse ROI ?
   Actuarially-minded Eastern bankers and rule-prone school marms have been transmuted into environmentally-obsessed earth-pounders, Earthlings stuck in a time warp at the bottom of the gravity well of "The Lower 49".
   If this stuff all stayed in the land of hardcore SF , it would be at worst laughable or annoying, but in fact it is as real as the blue sky headlines in our daily Google News.
   Hold onto your wallets dear taxpayer, because where teenage fiction leads, pre-teen politicians (shout out to Stephen !) with a hand in your pocket are sure to follow ....

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