When you take a child who's hollering like hell, sit him on your knee, and say "once upon a time", you stop him hollering. As long as you go on telling him a story, he will listen. Novelists who neglect this fundamental effect do so at their peril. They become what is known as the experimental novelist, and an experimental novel is not really a novel at all.
Once upon a time humans faced each other and pulled thoughts from minds, advanced rapidly, revolutionised industry and evolved explosively. Then one day they stopped, and stared at a box. They grew fat and awkward in public, stopped expressing emotions and couldn't figure out how to reverse it: they reinvented themselves from Emperors back into prawns, because someone turned the TV on.