|you should see this movie just for fassbender.|
Despite this, I find that I draw a lot from my classes and that most of it is applicable to my writing. Medieval and Early Modern literature is filled with a lot of 'firsts' and sometimes I'm surprised at the amount of writing that I find, in today's market, we would categorize as speculative.
This semester I'm taking a class on Victorian literature - I'm surprised how much I love it, but one of the reasons that I do has a lot to do with the reasons mentioned above. There are no robots or computer hackings in Victorian literature - but there is one thing that I think characterizes science fiction pretty well: an awareness that dynamic change is possible.
Victorian Literature exists in a post French Revolution age, one obsessesed with the idea and sudden reality that change is possible. That change on a global scale is possible. The characters that inhabit this era's books are hugely aware of this possibility - their stories are all about change. But more than that, their change is intimately linked with technology. Just as today's science fiction is entangled in super globalization (is that a thing?), and what it means to be so connected, so too is much of Victorian literature.
My very brilliant professor said of Marx, "he [Marx] is a romantic. He's engaging with the idea that the human experience evolved from age to age." We think of our lives as static - many of us grew up in the age of internet, and though Facebook and Twitter are constantly growing and evolving, they're already here. Science fiction and Victorian literature say, change is happening now. What will your characters do with it? How does the next state of affairs come to be?
But more than that, it says, how will my characters react and cope? And I think these questions are what make science fiction one of the longest enduring genres.
*Actually, I just remembered that I took Restoration Drama and that made me want to rip all the hairs out of my head. The professor was great. The material -- kadjfladlfjkdsad.There is all this cool beheading and throne changing going on (a real life Game of Thrones, if you will) and all you want to write about is how men swindle money and have sex. Really? Look at your life! Look at your choices!