Morning Coffee – 30 March 2020
Here are a few stories to read this Monday morning.
- The Guardian reports book sales surge as everyone stays home.
- The astronomer Johannes Kepler may have invented SF.
- Wired reminds us that the impact of closing libraries goes beyond books.
- The NWU, The Authors Guild, and other groups are protesting the Internet Archive’s new pirate site, the National Emergency Library.
- I updated my post on responding to piracy to include a section on the Internet Archive 's new pirate site.
- MOZ has made its SEO academy free for the duration.
- Did you see this fool who thinks books count as "essential" during an epidemic?
- Over 100,000 Little Free Libraries have been set up (not all are still in operation, however).
Disgusting Dude March 30, 2020 um 7:10 pm
Nope. Kepler wasn’t first.
He might have been the first to write a story based on what we consider to be Science but there was Science long before Kepler and there were stories based on "pre-modern" science before him.
Think of the definition of hard SF: stories based on the best scientific knowledge of the day.
And we all know just how long such stories remain "scientifically accurate".
Without going too far back, there is the classic (and still readable) SKYLARK series by E. E. Smith.
The first was written within the bounds of tbe science of the day…which was Newtonian. Just as Einstein and others were redefining our understanding of the universe. What was written as hard SF, became alternate universe fiction.
If we limit the scope of the genre to align it solely to contemporary science we will be deprecating the oldest fiction and eventually lose the roots of the field. The benchmark of "first SF" will be a moving line.
A more inclusive look at the history of the field focuses more on intent, on stories that explore ideas, the nature of the universe, and humanity’s place in it.
By that rule, the first SF is the first known story. THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH.
And thinkers ranging from Plato to Ovid to Cyrano de Bergerac to Jonathan Swift among other classics fit in the field.
The field didn’t start with Gernsback nor Kepler.
It has always been with us because humans have always wondered "what if".
Disgusting Dude March 30, 2020 um 7:46 pm
As for the fool, somebody needs to smack him a good one and introduce him to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Or just ignore him until he shows up as a Darwin Award winner.