Saturday, March 31, 2012

Interface: The Sci Fi Book written right before the Internet

Even thought I haven't finished the book Interface by Neal Stephenson and J. Frederick George, I can tell you that its a unique piece of literature. Stephenson and George published the book in 1994, the year before the Internet took off. Also everyone in the book is impressed by car phones. Over every page of the book, this fact looms. The characters are focused around a political campaign and an implanted chip in one of the candidates' head. The characters make political speeches. One of them made me laugh. He said we had no technological innovations.

The technology put into a story dates the story as much as the hair cuts on actors date a movie.

I am a writer and have written several sci fi stories. Reading this book and thinking about movies like Hackers and The Net make me wonder how we writers can keep up with the changing technology. I am interested in writing stories and some of the stories involved technology. Right now I am interested in capturing life as close to normal as possible. If I include some of today's technology which would not be distracting to a reader in the next few weeks, it might be distracting and annoying like a 80's hair cut is to us now in a few years (months??).

I think the only option we writers that want to write about today have is either be vague about the technology that our characters are using, or make it a period piece set firmly in the current year.

What role do you think technology has in fiction? Do you feel that these time stamps matter? Or are readers/viewers more interested in the story than to care that their high tech razor phone is now not even used by children.

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