Clive Thompson remains the single journalist most perfectly calibrated to my interests, and his latest essay for Wired is no exception. It’s about science fiction:
If you want to read books that tackle profound philosophical questions, then the best — and perhaps only — place to turn these days is sci-fi. Science fiction is the last great literature of ideas.
From where I sit, traditional “literary fiction” has dropped the ball. I studied literature in college, and throughout my twenties I voraciously read contemporary fiction. Then, eight or nine years ago, I found myself getting — well — bored.
I had a friend in college who, upon hearing a science-fiction book recommendation that cited plot, characters, setting, etc., would reply: “Yes, yes, but what about the ideas? The ideas?”
(P.S. So yes, it’s probably me who is actually calibrated to Clive Thompson’s interests, given the nature of media. That’s fine, too.)