He is interested in finding ways to further technological development while maintaining a commitment to the environment and social equity in the face of a rapidly changing world.The air of the Nebula was, as always, stained blood-red.
But that’s a simplistic answer that fails to explain why we’re drawn to science fiction, which, while speculative, often nods to realism and presents a thoughtful perspective on the future – frequently one that’s informed by scientific and technological reality.
The draw of science fiction is more nuanced than a desire to escape the mundane.
Hard SF isn't the prevailing literary fashion, even within `"genre SF''that body of fiction published as `"science fiction'' in magazines and specialty book lines. Heinlein started writing SF for the `"slick'' magazines after World War II, he realized from the outset that he would have to minimize the science to reach a wider audience (10).
On the one hand, Star Trek spin-offs, Dragonrider novels, and the like head the best-seller lists. Whatever else can be said of a work like Raft, it is safe to predict that it will never show up in any literary canon "conservative'' or "radical''any more than it will be a runaway commercial success. When he finally did reach a mass book-reading audience, it was with Stranger in a Strange Land (1961), which stressed social and religious satire Heinlein himself denied that it was SF at all (260).
The clouds were like handfuls of grayish cloth sprinkled through miles of air.
Stars fell among and through the clouds in a slow, endless rain that tumbled down to the Core.
(Science fiction sometimes guides technological development, rather than predicting it—for example, some developers of Google Earth have Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel Snow Crash as an inspiration.) Science fiction writers themselves often bemoan the futility of trying to predict the future in their more metafictional works—see, for instance, Stanislaw Lem’s novel The Futurological Congress, a surrealist satire about drugs, war, and how perception shapes reality.
Instead, science fiction is written to caution against the horrors of endless war (e.g., The Forever War), or to glorify human ingenuity (e.g., The Martian), or to explore the ramifications of a radically different political system (e.g., The Dispossessed, 1984). Its readers seek to accomplish something, though our motives might be more elusive than those of the authors. The immediate answer for some is escapism: to enter into fantastic worlds that are more exciting than mundane reality.
We ourselves would never want to live there, but we are fascinated by what it would be like to live there.
Rees' universe doesn't exist, but Stephen Baxter convinces us, in Raft (1992), that it could.