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Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Greg Bear on Why He Writes, and Why He Writes Science Fiction

I have friends who believe the world will come to an end in twenty or thirty years.... Serve everybody right, they seem to say. 

What they are actually saying is that within the next few decades—certainly within the next sixty or seventy years—they will come to an end.... The future does not really exist, certainly not the far and unknowable future. Why talk about it? 

They are still my friends, but they are... wrong.... The future will come, and it will be different, unimaginably so. Then why do I bother to try imagining it...?

I’m willing to bet, in our deepest hearts, that we all hope one of our more optimistic imagined futures, or some aspect of a literary time to come, will closely parallel reality. Then we will be admired for our perspicacity....

Perhaps. But it will be accident, not prophecy.

Like my pessimistic friends, I'm not going to live forever....

But when I write, I not only live to see one future, I experience dozens...

When I write, I’m immortal.

--Greg Bear from The "Preface" to The Wind from a Burning Woman


A perfect quote for his passing. I also like his willingness to forge friendships with those he disagrees with.

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