Quite a few comments around the web about my post the other day on the not so looming singularity. One of the best is from Jay Garmon at Geekend, who examines my point about science fiction not going extinct. After giving some excellent analysis which I agree with in general, Garmon asks people what they turn to science fiction for: the futurism, or the characterization?
Speaking for myself, characterization is vital to all fiction. But what takes SF to the next level is placing believable characters into situations where the depth of human character is measured against the larger backdrop of space and time. When this is done properly, as in books like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stranger in a Strange Land, A Canticle for Leibowitz, and The Stars My Destination, the effect on a reader is almost beyond description.