Gregory Benford came back from the 100 Year Starship Symposium agitated about sf’s diminishing attention to near future exploration of our own solar system. He voiced his concerns in Reason Magazine, and the essay is also on his blog.
The beleaguered community of scientists and dreamers working to make space travel reality can’t look to NASA for a vision, but there is still a handful of writers thinking about humanity’s first steps off this planet:
Science fiction writers didn’t predict the fade-out of NASA’s manned space operations, and they weren’t prepared with alternative routes to space when that decline became undeniable. Allen Steele, a journalist who once covered NASA and now writes award-winning stories and novels about it, remarks: “Those who equate NASA with space exploration can’t see any other options. They got scared away from writing about space, or else became cynical about the whole thing and claimed that space exploration is a failure.” This leaves us, Steele says, with a “small number of writers who foresaw NASA’s twilight and who have long advocated private space exploration.”
[Thanks to Dave Locke and Andrew Porter for the link.]