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Jonathan Dotse Highlights the Importance of Science Fiction in Africa

SLiPNet has published an article by Jonathan Dotse on why Africa needs science fiction. The post was originally published on Dotse’s blog, AfroCyberPunk.

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Dotse writes about the complexity of science fiction due to technological advancements and says that imagining the future now involves “the consequences of several new trends in innumerable disciplines interwoven through many layers of society”. He views science fiction as a network of connections between the world of science and the general public and says that it “spearheads the formation of vital discourses into the complex cause-effect relationships between technology and social phenomena”.

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Translating science fiction into local languages isn’t enough, says Dotse, “Our vision must be based on our own unique reality – cut from the cloth of our own societies and tailored to our specific needs.” He highlights the value of science fiction writing in helping us to imagine and shape our futures and says that it is much needed in order “to expand the frontiers of the African thinker’s imagination”.

The most valuable natural resource to a society’s development is its ore of ideas.

Much more than a brand of esoteric entertainment, science fiction has long been a source of prophetic knowledge that has influenced the destiny of humankind. From 1984 (Orwell, 1949) to Neuromancer (Gibson, 1984), the course of history has continually been altered by the ripple effect of this unique brand of ideas on our immediate future.

Already a challenging art form, science fiction is rapidly growing in complexity in the age of high technology, as anyone imagining a future society is forced to explore the consequences of several new trends in innumerable disciplines interwoven through many layers of society. However, each accurate guess proves to be well worth the effort, to ever-increasing orders of magnitude.

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Recent comments:

  • Lindsay
    January 22nd, 2013 @16:26 #

    This article reminded me of an interview with William Gibson that was published last year. He spoke about science fiction writers almost always being wrong about their predictions and how if they're not getting it wrong then it's because they're not creating enough imaginary futures.


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