Would you care to predict the major sociopolitical-economic trends and events for the next fifty years?
No. Anyway, sf is not on the business of prediction. Leave that to the serious folk who do attempt to tell us what win happen. Sf does attempt to prophesy, and it is in the multi-valued futures that the strength of sf lies. (That ‘st lies’ is interestingly Freudian.) I suppose the simple answer is to Say if we don’t blow ourselves up or kill ourselves off in some other way we’ll all be here muddling along and lurching from disaster to disaster. .There are so many new factors in the world that if they attempt to struggle, in the case of nations, or combine, in the case of industry, the wolf .will be seen in the land again. What is so infuriating about all this is that with science and technology and native .ingenuity the world could be a wonderful place for just about everyone. Yet the old winners and-losers syndrome crops up, Ancient Greece with high-culture and slavery casts a long shadow, and you cannot have a hundred million yachts off Monte Carlo. Once the answers to our present problems have been found perhaps the Entertainment Industry will have to shoulder the burden, Pleasure Machinery and Surrogate Experience serve the mass of humanity. And then, after that, when the whole edifice breaks down, we’ll be back to the drawing board again.
Do you think mankind will reach the stars’-create an interstellar civilization---or are we kidding ourselves?
This is a question not really germane to Alan Burt Akers; but-It doesn’t really matter. What matters are the stories written about interstellar civilizations and the light they throw, on us in the here and now. They can also be highly entertaining. Maybe distance will defeat us in the end, maybe we’ll get around it. I rather fancy we may very well develop a hyperdrive so scorned by the high-powered academics crowding into the sf field and begin to open up the galaxy. When I say it doesn’t matter, I refer, of course, to us. Once it starts, if it does, then it will matter. By that time so much will have changed, assuming the human race is still here, that what we have to say will seem to the people actually handling these problems rather like Biblical commentaries on flaming wheels, etc.
Thank you, Mr. Akers.