I decided that after writing the Engines of Light trilogy, then Newton's Wake and Learning the World, I'd done everything I wanted to do, for the moment, in space opera; and meanwhile had accumulated a whole new decade's worth of fury about the world as it is now and the way it's going.
This kinda approach makes me sick.
I sort of see--at least this kind of articulation--as a variant of an anti-intellectual thread that says, "don't waste your time thinking about the big issues because the present is so fucked up." There are variants of this, for example feminists and queers who think that feminist queer theories is counterproductive (agreed that there is a point of diminishing return, as there is with most pursuits intellectual or other wise; however, that's a very different sort of argument.)
Science fiction is powerful because it makes abstract ideas and concepts approachable in a package that we're able to interact with and make sense of. You can't write a book about the Saphir-Whorf hypothesis set in 2007, but Delany did an amazing job at it in the late 1960s, and you bet your ass it was relevant to the precise moment in which it was written.
I mean, there's worth to stories set in reality-like present day, and I'm not condemning all non-spec fiction. I'm simply saying, if what you're interested is expressing your furry about the present day in such blunt terms, don't do it all over my genre.
Onward and Upward!