That got me thinking is it because it’s sci-fi and everyone expects sci-fi to space opera (overblown galactic empires, evil aliens, strange planets, weird technology and space ships) and not serious or be relevant to today.
So if that is your view, then it isn’t necessarily the case and I’m going to use my own writing to explain why, so no surprises there.
So in A Slight Mistake in the Code there is no galactic empire (though there was a galactic-wide civilisation in the past, but it was only because humans had colonised the rest of the galaxy).
There are no evil aliens. There are no aliens in the book, though there are aliens in some of the sequels but they’re not evil and only exist because I didn’t want humans to be the only intelligent creatures in the galaxy.
There are no strange planets, well this a slightly strange one because it is artificial but it is not central to the book. In fact the main story doesn’t even take place on a planet.
There is no really weird technology. Most of the technology I can see being with us within 100 or so years. There are a few exceptions. Faster than light travel is mentioned as being discovered in the late 21st Century, but there is no indication of its nature. Then there’s the use of ‘exotic matter’ in construction, but then we don’t know what most of the universe is made of (dark matter) so it’s not outside the realms of possibilities. The rest of the technology? I think it is feasible but some of it would require the resources of a large civilisation to construct and would put an enormous strain on the economy. And if you’re wondering what I’m talking about, well I’m not going to tell you, you’ll just have to read the book.
Space ships – there aren’t any mentioned at all except perhaps is passing.
And as for not being relevant to today! One of the main characters is black, in a world where she appears unique. The rational for this is the world where the novel is set has a red dwarf star for its sun, therefore low UV radiation, therefore light skin would predominate through natural selection. The only time when that wouldn’t happen is when there are social conventions pushing in the other direction. But then dark skin isn’t the problem!
And if you’re wondering why light skin would predominate, then it’s because we manufacture Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. If it wasn’t for that quirk of our biology, we’d probably all be black.
And the other relevance to today is religion but you’ll just have to read the last couple of pages to see the point I was trying to make and to make sense of that you’ll just have to read the rest of the book.
And for those of you who like romance, central to the story is a young man who falls in love with a strange exotic woman and the reader expects them to get together but then she drops a bombshell.
Confused? I hope so because if you're like me, then you like stories where you're sitting wondering WTF is happening and then everything slowly slots into place.