What the fu*k IS that?

there are plenty of complex unanswered questions in science, but far fewer simple ones. Is there life on Mars? Nope. In the solar system? Not as we know it. Will intelligent computers take over the world? Maybe, but we are well passed the deadline and have failed to invent anything smarter than a toaster so far.

These and a few other questions were the staple of Science Fiction in its boom from the 20’s right through to the early seventies. The genre grew out of the simple human capacity for wonder, our capacity to look at a shining star in the night sky and say ‘What the fu*k IS that thing?’. That sense of wonder is the oldest motivator of stories, right from the ancient myths passed down to us through the millenia, that Science Fiction successfully caught hold of for many decades. But in more recent times Science Fiction has lost its grip on this sensawunda (as its known in the biz). For real genre fans specualation on the technological singularity or the pst-human experience still arouse such excitement, but the general readership the Science Fiction once captured so well have drifted further and further away.

Well now some clever people called scientists have gone and discovered a fucking huge hole in the universe. Billions of light years accross, entirely devoid of planets, stars and galaxies, not even a speck of theoretical dark matter to plug the gap. Oh boy oh boy oh boy, it that doesn’t get you wondering then nothing will.

Get to it people, I want an exciting story on this submitted to Asimovs pronto!

Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.


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