World Weavers: Globalization, Science Fiction, and the Cybernetic Revolution

World Weavers: Globalization, Science Fiction, and the Cybernetic Revolution

World Weavers: Globalization, Science Fiction, and the Cybernetic Revolution

World Weavers: Globalization, Science Fiction, and the Cybernetic Revolution

Synopsis

World Weavers is the first ever study on the relationship between globalization and science fiction. Scientific innovations provide citizens of different nations with a unique common ground and the means to establish new connections with distant lands. This study attempts to investigate how our world has grown more and more interconnected not only due to technological advances, but also to a shared interest in those advances and to what they might lead to in the future.

Excerpt

Gary Westfahl

In January 2001, a scholarly conference was held at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. It was a genuinely global gathering, attracting speakers and guests from five continents and twelve countries. As is usually the case nowadays, virtually all of the arrangements for the conference — including the submission of paper proposals, acceptance letters, planning, scheduling, and hotel reservations — were handled over the Internet. What the speakers generally focused on in their presentations was science fiction — the science fiction of the past and the present, the science fiction of literature and film, the science fiction of America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. By its very nature, this conference — formally entitled the Hong Kong 2001 Conference: Technology, Identity, and Futurity, East and West, in the Emerging Global Village — embodied the interrelationship of globalization, science fiction, and the cybernetic revolution that functions as the foundation of the argument of this volume.

We have all heard the story, encapsulated in the title of Arthur C. Clarke's non-fictional survey, of How the World Was One by means of various advances in transportation and communication throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. But those scientific breakthroughs alone did not forge a global village. In the language of the police procedural, new technologies can provide the means for people to establish new connections with distant lands, but they do not provide the motive. Before they make an international phone call or board a . . .

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