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Ishaan comments on Serious Stories - Less Wrong

39 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 08 January 2009 11:49PM

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Comment author: Ishaan 06 October 2013 03:48:40AM *  -2 points [-]

I suggest that a story needs suspense, dissonance, and strong emotional reactions. These need not necessarily be pain. Some stories are interesting because they provoke wonder - ideas clicking together, strange worlds being explored. A lot of science fiction and fantasy stories accomplish this.

I've been mulling this over for a while. I'm posting this now because I just thought of a concrete example of a story which is popular and contains no pain or conflict:


What makes the story work is the "mind-blown" effect. It's fun to imagine the implications if the story were true. It invokes a sense of awe and wonder. it implicitly implies hundreds of additional possible storylines.

Granted, it's a very short story.

Idea cross post