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The Importance of Design in Science Fiction Writing

Posted: 7/19/10 | Written by Jeannie | Labels: , , ,

When talking to other novelist I always ask if they have an interest in technology. It’s a diverse response. Most are in love with all things gadgetry. The iPhone, iPads, Droids of today catch their eye. But what about the physical design of the world around us? This is important to me as I am a futuristic social commentary writer I need to have realistic ideas of the future. Yes, a science fiction writer must be able to come up with their own ideas of how the future will run, work, even play while dispending belief for the reader in our world. However, we are not engineers or designers so when I see something like this video, I have to take notice.

In science fiction writing, to me, it’s so important to use design elements to help perpetuate the idea of the future. In my writing I do not focus on the tech too much but I do place odd design elements into the story. After all, futuristic social commentary is not about the technology, it’s about social elements in the future. The story is not based on the tech but by using suspended animation gel rather than a refrigerator it helps the reader take that step with you into the future. Would Star Trek’s social message be any different if they used a microwave instead of a food replicator? No. But you, the reader, would not be so inclined to listen to a social message without that step into the future.