What Science Fiction Can Teach Us About 21st Century America

Bakhtin's Cigarettes

DADOESThe great writer Kurt Vonnegut famously commented that he was “a soreheaded occupant of a file drawer labeled ‘science fiction’.” But eventually, late in his life, he admitted that he didn’t really mind the fact that his classic, mind-blowing novels like Slaughterhouse Five were often relegated to the science fiction “ghetto” in many bookstores. Any world that could produce the Holocaust was already weirder than any science fiction novel, he said, so putting his books on the sci-fi shelf kind of made sense.

Very often these days, I am struck by just how right Vonnegut was. Nearly every day I see something in the news that reminds me of something in a famous sci-fi book. For example, when I read this article stating that the eight richest people in the world control as much wealth as the bottom 3.5 billion people, I was instantly reminded of William Gibson’s Neuromancer

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