I’m surprised not to have seen more comment in the spec-fic blogosphere about the president’s NASA plans. The space program is pretty near to my heart and has been since my first episode of (dating myself here) the original Star Trek. I love how our fictional visions of space exploration influence our space exploration and other aspects of “the future” — cell phones and medical scanning devices being two big examples.
Although I have to agree with Obama’s basic premises, I do think a space program of some kind is really important for both technological and psycho-social reasons. But rather than a political discussion here, what I’ve been thinking about is this — do young people today really have much awareness of either the history of space exploration or our current activities? When I was young, any space shot was important enough to stop classes at school so we could tune in on the TV. Now, the shuttle missions and space station seem like background noise that very few notice. Fictional space stories and movies seem to take up WAY more space…. (er, no pun intended) in the common consciousness.
(I’ve just realized a bunch of my posts have a theme — the possible eclipse of real life by larger-than-life fiction. Hmm.)
Anyway, what I meant to ask was: How much do the young readers you encounter know about, or think about, space and space exploration? Is that aspect of sci-fi the stepchild? Is there room for more good, realistic fiction there… or would it fall on deaf eyeballs?