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This means I must pay close attention to the writing, but equally so to the scientific background - which sometimes means doing fairly involved calculations.
There may be something to the suggestion about the pace of technological change intimidating writers, though - it's been awfully hard to keep ahead of real developments.
There are a significant number of people who appreciate what we do, and most of them gravitate to Analog because this is where they can find it. The other magazines tend to share their audiences, which may result in each of them having a smaller market share.
Some of the biggest changes that have happened are behind the scenes, in the way we produce the magazine. E.g., much of our production has been brought in-house via desktop publishing.
Of course, the way writers think about those things is almost certain to be affected by their own cultural background, and it would be hard to deny that, for whatever reasons, a lot of SF writers come from Anglo or European backgrounds.
Its limitations are those of the physical universe: it won't let you play with some really wild ideas that aren't possible, but are fun to speculate about.
It's most presumptuous to believe we already know all the answers and will never get any more big surprises.
It's easy to imagine ways the future can be ugly and depressing. It's harder, but more worthwhile, to imagine plausible ways we can make it better.
Ideally, I'd like every issue to include a diverse group of stories that meet the qualifications sketched above, but covering a wide range of specific matter and flavour.
I think the rising and falling popularity of areas like hard SF and far-future SF is, to a considerable extent, the same as any other fashion.
I think the international appeal of SF is quite understandable since the kinds of people who like to read it, are, by the nature of the beast, interested in other cultures, of which other nations on Earth are the closest available example.
As for sticking strictly to presently known science, I will simply point out that we have already experienced at least two major revolutions in science in this century alone.
And, of course, some SF is set close enough to here and now that Anglo and European do apply. Since many of the writers come from those backgrounds, so does much of the fiction.
Being There For Someone
Mind Your Own Business
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