Picture a graph for the Social Commentary content in science fiction.
On the left side is the Pure Fun/Entertainment/Escapism value. On the right side is the pure Political/Social Propaganda value.
Some authors lean more toward the left side of the graph (John Scalzi, David Weber), and some are toward the right side (Cory Doctorow, China Mieville). Some straddle the line, falling on either side of the median at different points in their careers (Orson Scott Card), or even at different parts of the same book (Heinlein comes to mind.)
Here are my questions for you today:
At what point do you consider the Social Commentary content in a novel “preachy”? Where’s the line for you when it comes to “Stuff that makes you think” versus “Stuff that makes you feel like you’re being preached at”? Which writers do you find overtly preachy, or too fluffy and un-edgy?