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Hanna Fahl: Ian McEwan writes scifi as a young high school student with unwavering self-confidence

There comes a time in almost every finlitterär author's life and career when he perceives himself to be the first to discover science fiction. Last in line is Ian McEwan. His new novel ”the Machines like me” (in Swedish of August at the brombergs) takes place during a alternativhistoriskt 1980s, where Joseph heller's classic called ”Catch-18”, the Uk lost the war of the Falkland islands, and Alan Turing instead of dying young self has revolutionized the technical development. The main character Charlie buys one of the first artificial humans, Adam, which triggers a complicated love triangle with her girlfriend Miranda.

”There could be room for a novelist to explore the future, not in terms of traveling ten times the speed of light in the anti-gravity device boots, but by actually looking at the human dilemma of being close to something you know is artificial but who think like you do,” says Ian McEwan in an interview about the book in The Guardian.

. Has Ian McEwan really missed all the giant literary history tradition that goes on to explore just this, from the jewish Golemmyten, via the ”Frankenstein's monster”, to Isaac Asimovs pioneering science fictionromaner about the problems with the ethical regulations concerning AI-programming, or is he just arrogant? ”If a machine seems to be human, and you can't see the difference, then you must truly begin to consider whether it has responsibilities and rights and all such,” continues Ian McEwan with the self-satisfied tone of a young high school student with unwavering self-confidence that had their first filosofilektion, but to take notice that, in principle, all of the novels in which robots appear, they last at least four decades, is all about responsibilities and rights (and shocking to get on the anti-gravity device boots).

Get finlitterära author succeeds particularly well when the condescends to dip their golden toes in the smutsbruna river is genrelitteratur. Ian McEwan is far from the worst example – ”Machines like me” is, despite the fact that it is strangely superficial researchad and not expressing a single new thought on man's relation to AI, still much better than Dave Eggers plate social media-portrayal of ”The circle” (2013), the novel that made me in the absolute worst mood in the modern era.

the More successful examples are – Margaret Atwood certainly has famöst just described science fiction-the genre as ”talking squids in outer space”, but her MaddAddam trilogy (2003-2013), is a modern scifi classic, whether she wants to or not, Kazuo Ishiguros kloningsdystopi ”Never let me go” (2005) likewise. What comes to american literature John Anyurus novel ”They will drown in their mothers ' tears” (2017) to be highlighted as an unusually successful attempt – but even here it is noticeable genreovanhet of the author: The Big Twist is based on a so välanvänt grip to all who is the least versed in the tidsresefokuserad science fiction can guess the around page 30.

the authors seem to reduce the level of ambition so terribly when the paws into genrelitteraturterritorier – no one would have to write a Big Novel about another literary staple to the theme – say, famljerelationer, or sadness – without at least trying to tell you something oberättat. But McEwan throw away unperturbed out-worn phrases about the automated cars and ”the trolley problem” as if he were the first to speak the words, do not indulge herself long finesslösa lots of exposition where berättarjaget gratuitous grinds on if its parallel to the recent history.

Sometimes I wish that McEwan and his ilk actually took on the where the despised rymdstövlarna, talking octopuses, ten times the speed of light. The question is whether it would not be more literary innovation, anyway.

Read more texts by Hanna Fahl, for example, if all us democrats favorite authors, James Joyce.

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