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Thread: Small wars and Science Fiction

  1. #1
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    In Barsoom, as a fact!

    Default Small wars and Science Fiction

    How does Science Fiction influence warfare?

    The question may seem ridiculous but viewing the responses to nearly the same question, it may be much clever than it looks.
    Naturally, I am not the one asking the question. It has been asked in a much brighter way previously in Speculative Fiction and National security.

    But what does show this article and the responses is that many among us did dream to be a spacemarines.
    War has always been a great subject for Science Fiction.

    Dune from Frank Herbert describes the war conducted by a small group of desert tribe men for the control of the only substance allowing transport against a weak and gigantic empire. They use guerrilla, booby traps… and end up in a conventional battle. (Do not misunderstand me, please. USA are not the Harkonen).

    Authors like William Gibson in Neuromancer described a warrior with high tech weapons and communications, the one we nearly know now. Walter Jon Williams in hardwired describes the small war conducted by a group of rebels against giant cartels using economical attacks, quite alike the Chinese unlimited war.
    Examples are many

    Science Fiction is an imaginative base for technology development but also describes the war of tomorrow and S-F also likes small wars.

    What is the share of S-F in to day small wars?

  2. #2
    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    "Turn left at Greenland." - Ringo Starr


    I think this area of study is interesting, but I wouldn't put much stock into using science fiction for understanding or predicting small wars and its characteristics. The reason being that we have plenty of history available, and despite the the availability of facts, it's still extremely difficult in building a common, applicable understanding for events and their causes. Add the influences/themes/bias of the author and that of the reader, and you can interpret anything however you please. To answer the question in the article, why didn't the rebels in Star Wars fight an unconvetional battle: because George Lucas didn't want them to

    Where using fiction can be usable, in my opinion, is explaining or developing themes that are already understood.
    When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles. - Louis Veuillot

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