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Re: Evolution in science fiction

On Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 9:56 AM, Jeff Hecht<jeff@jeffhecht.com> wrote:
> I'm going to be moderating a panel this weekend at a science fiction 
> convention called Readercon in suburban Boston. The title is "Is Darwinism 
> Too Good for SF?" and it's asking if evolutionary theory "has been _too 
> good_, too unassailable and too full of explanatory power, to leave the 
> wiggle room where speculative minds can play" that science fiction writers 
> need to write memorable stories. Are there evolutionary counterparts of time 
> travel and faster-than-light?

I'm reminded of Edgar Rice Burroughs Caspak series (The Land That Time
Forgot, etc.), wherein people discover an island where ontogeny
*actually* recapitulates phylogeny. Organisms develop from pond scum,
going the metamorphic stages of being worms, fish, reptiles, mammals,
and finally humans (or humanoids). (Maybe some take a different path
and end up as other organisms -- I can't recall.)

And of course Dougal Dixon's classic "speculative bestiary"
semi-trilogy is evolutionary sci-fi, although it's not narrative.
(Well, actually, I guess Man After Man is composed of many small

T. Michael Keesey
Technical Consultant and Developer, Internet Technologies
Glendale, California