December 11, 2017
Getting to the Final Destination
I was interested in examining high tech and low tech narratives to see what conclusions I might come to about how they relate to each other and to their readers. I was surprised about how relatable high tech texts could be when humanistic traits were included. In essence, I found that high tech and low tech readings are highly relatable to each other when relationships, necessities and time lines are considered.
High tech and low tech scenarios are often linked in science fiction, meaning that many stories have elements of both characteristics within the same narrative. Melissa Holesovsky came to the same conclusion in her essay Tech Teams: High and Low. She states that “the low tech scenario of science fiction writing has a warm feeling of reality that so many can associate with while high tech has a cold disconnection from the real world; however, in teaming these two contrasting scenarios solid literature emerges that captures the best of both sub-genres of science fiction.” This writing tactic allows writers to draw in a larger fan base by appealing to more humanistic desires and making their stories more relatable.
While the appeal of mixing high tech and low tech science fiction makes sense from a writer’s perspective to solicit more readers, it seems that avoiding this blend is nearly impossible. In Holly William’s essay You Can’t Have One Without The Other, she makes a strong case that high tech and low tech narratives are dependent on each other. Her examples range from House of Bones, where the time travelling of the main character to a low tech past wouldn’t have been possible without a high tech future, to Chocco, where a high tech past led to a low tech future. Her essay made me consider the effects in each story we read in class as humans continue to change, evolve, and affect the world around them. Our low tech past has slowly evolved into a high tech future and any resulting futures will likely be from the rise and/or fall of our own actions and inventions. It’s an interesting truth to apply to future scenario narratives.
This realization makes me consider the very topic of Fariha Khalil’s essay, Do we Really want a Technologically Advanced Future? Khalil points out that every story has characters that hold onto the past, despite the outreaching for a high tech future. She says, “Human connections and bonds cannot be forgotten, and they cannot be forged, for they are precisely what make us human.” Again, high tech and low tech narratives are combined through characters who struggle to let go of their past. The father in The Onion and I yearns for his previous life of planting and sowing. Pearl in Drapes and Folds clings to her fabrics, as they are one of the last remnants from her past. Memories hold emotions and human beings will always reminisce and remember where they’ve been and how they got there.
The relationship between high tech and low tech narratives is very strong. They lean on each other for back stories, explanations and the familiar so that readers can comprehend the characters, the setting and the plot. While all science fiction narratives may not have high tech and low tech characteristics, the ones that do offer relationships and hope for the future so that readers can digest the story through an understanding of what makes us human.