It's amusing to analyze the artificial barriers which science-fiction writers erect in order to block technological progress in their stories about the future. The ostensible purpose is to keep things comprehensible for today's reader ... but perhaps it also serves to make the author's job less exhausting. Among the contents of the standard bag of tricks:

With these and other contrived devices, talented sf writers can produce quasi-primitive situations even within the most advanced cultures --- and thereby reduce the hero's job to riding around on big fast animals, fighting bad guys one-on-one with knives, and winning the hand of the girl ... just like in countless classic tales from the past few thousand years.

Hmmm, come to think of it, all of the above mechanisms appear in Frank Herbert's first Dune novel ...

(see also BuSab (9 Mar 2001), BattleLanguage (7 Aug 2004), ...)

TopicLiterature - TopicHumor - 2004-12-13

(correlates: BattleLanguage, BuSab, PresentImperative, ...)