For your fourth and final paper, I want you to take a creative leap: find an article in a newspaper (the ECU journal?), magazine, or on-line (but it MUST have an author) that discusses some important modern-day problem. It could be anything, but make sure the article clearly defines the problem and some of the issues affecting it (for example, the budget crisis in Oklahoma). You must include a copy of the article with your paper, since I want to read it alongside your paper.
THEN, I want you to write a short science-fiction story (or the beginning of a story) that takes the issue and re-imagines it in the future. How can we see the issues more clearly if we set it in 2066 (for example)? Or among a society of clones and robots? Or on Mars? As with all science fiction, the setting is a metaphor to help us relate to our own world and its problems. The problem you choose can be made worse, or can have completely gone away, or might have changed into something else entirely. Whatever you choose to do, make sure we can see why this is a problem today, and how changing the perspective can help us understand why it’s a problem and what we might consider doing about it...before it’s too late!
Look at some of the stories from The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2015 to see how they did this. For example, “The Thing About Shapes to Come” discusses what we define as normal (particularly with autism) by creating shape children. Or “Tortoiseshell Cats Are Not Refundable” shows us the moral complications of cloning if it became a service like Ancestry.com. Use these stories as models and note how they cleverly take modern ideas and make them seem strange and futuristic to help us ‘see’ them clearly.
- No page limit: As long as you think it needs to be
- You must base it on the issue and ideas of an existing article. You are responding to this article, so don’t just write about some topic off the top of your head. Read first, then respond. Include the article with your paper.
- Due by Thursday, May 5th by 5pm (hard copy only)