What is Technical Satire? Short answer: it’s nothing yet. It’s not weird enough to really be Bizarro Fiction and yet too weird to be Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, etc. Is it an extension of Post Modernism and consumer cynicism in a manner similar to Bizarro? yes, but focussed more tightly on consumerism and technology. Is it a subset of thriller or literary or Paranormal Romance? no sir; no ma’am.
Where did it come from? Nowhere. From my head. I took a few different words and put ’em together and asked myself ‘could people refer to this as a thing’ until I settled upon Technical Satire. Technical Satire! You hear that search engine spiders? this thing is almost a thing. Look out world. Is this post devolving into insanity? possibly. Look, lemme tell you a story —
I went to a bookstore one day – a trendy, cool bookstore in Austin where, well I’m not gonna talk stuff about Books nor the People that support them – but I asked an attendant if he could show me some short story collections about how technology is impacting our modern life. No dice. But that’s not a big deal, right. Wait. Oh, that’s right: writer’s are supposed to chronicle the times we live in. Has anything had a greater impact on the world we live in the Twenty-First Century more than technology? Is there some other big story here that I’m missing? I don’t think there is.
For a long time, the general advice to writers has been to avoid putting too much technology in their stories. The thinking was that with the time it takes to put out a novel traditionally, the technology may have become obsolete and thereby make the writing seem stale. However, I think we’ve come to an impasse regarding the impact of technology in our lives and technology can no longer be ignored in fiction. But, Dave! my werewolf has a cellphone. Nope. Sorry. I don’t think you’re on the trolley yet.
So let’s talk about ‘paranormal’ (read vampires and werewolves) for a second. That whole movement is an attempt to get back to the archetypal, fundamental essence of our nature. (To understand and embrace our animalistic nature in a world full of machines.) But the knee-jerk reaction away from technology and back to the basics of the animalistic needs is not enough for fiction. We have to face the problem head-on. We have to face technology. Not just run away from it into fantasy.