Kim Stanley Robinson | Interstellar travel is a religious fantasy

Science fiction is fighting a doctrinal war. Between those who believe that humankind’s future is still the stars, and those – like Kim Stanley Robinson – who believe interstellar travel is a fantasy of religious belief. The science is clear, travel to other stars may well be forever beyond us. So why do we keep telling this story?

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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.

9 thoughts on “Kim Stanley Robinson | Interstellar travel is a religious fantasy

  1. I don’t believe myself or my colleagues to be ‘superstitious fantasists’. I think we’re well informed of the realities.

    Let me also say, I met Kim Stanley Robinson. We were at a signing together, at Balticon in 2016. He’s a good guy, and though he may have strong opinions, I don’t remember him being flippant or dismissive of other people’s views.

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    1. Nobody ever does believe themselves to be the fantasist. But that’s what interstellar travel is. A religious fantasy that serves all the social and psychological needs power fantasies always serve. You’re not being dismissed you’re just hearing something you don’t like.

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  2. So, what it will take is a fascist theocracy coming up with huge works-projects, moving people off-planet, mining and occupying asteroids… Religious groups will set off in their asteroid ships on hundreds’-years journeys to nearby stars with possibly inhabitable planets. .

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    1. No religion survives more than a few centuries. Religious zealots might set off on this missions, but with travel times seven thousand years minimum to any star with planets, they would never get there.

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