Computers, Cells and Fiction

August 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

I have a theory, it’s that modern communication has rendered modern fiction to keep looking back in time. By this I mean that everyone’s ability to contact everyone all the time and to know everything via the internet has diffused a lot of potential drama in fiction. Most folks in the western world have a cell phone and a computer. Big deal, you say, what about TVs and cars? A car has remained a car and a TV has remained a TV–very little has changed to the essential elements of these items. Somehow stories involving the internet or texting seems so goddamned gimmicky to me, and I know in four years they’ll be dated (in a bad way). Maybe I’m being narrow-minded, but I get the feeling writers feel this way too, because lately I’ve noticed a lot of decent fiction being set in decades of past, instead of perhaps more 20th century trends towards setting tales in the (then) present, for a sense of relevance and immediacy. Now everything is historical, or set a few decades ago. While a writer could easily skirt the subject and simply ignore the existence of these things and set their story in the present day, I’ve noticed how inauthentic it is to read that so-and-so desperately wants to contact so-and-so and all I can think is, “call their mobile, fool.” Also, a fiction book about Facebook could be very postmodern and very boring.

Just my $0.02

I guess you could go the Lady Gaga way about things and simply write an entire conversation. Maybe that’s the only proof I need.

-Stay Gold


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