Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Can writers really change the world?

photo Chris Ayres
Mention sci-fi visionaries such as Asimov and Philip K. Dick to scientists and techies and they’ll reveal how these guys accurately predicted cybernetics and social media.  Ideas into action. Yet in some quarters they were regarded as pulp writers with vivid (and sometimes weird) imaginations.  

Today, TV soaps like Enders and Corrie have the power to change public perceptions of, and inform about, social issues that lobbyists and charities have struggled for years to publicise. Using storylines covering topics from domestic abuse to, more recently, pancreatic cancer, these dramas raise awareness on a massive scale.  Words have power. 

So why (and how) can “populist” writers succeed in changing the world?  Is the pen (or latest digital writing device) really mightier than a sharp pointy weapon?  I think so.  And I'm glad for that. 

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