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HOPEFUL SIGNS OF THE LITERARY ARRIVAL OF SF
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Author:  George Berger [ Sat Aug 01, 2009 8:44 pm ]
Post subject:  HOPEFUL SIGNS OF THE LITERARY ARRIVAL OF SF

On 01 February 2008 the TLS published an extensive review of Iain M. Banks' Matter, written by Lisa Tuttle. Besides describing the book, Ms Tuttle wrote about the disdain with which SF is often met in 'literary' circles. I was so impressed by seeing a book by one of my favorite writers reviewed in this prestigeous weekly that I showed it to some fans in Amsterdam, where I then lived. I stated that this might indicate a growing acceptance of the best SF by the anglophone literary world at large.

It looks like I was right. Less than 1 1/2 year later Alastair Reynolds got his well-deserved ten-book contract from Gollancz, and Chris Beckett won the Edge Hill Short Story Prize in a contest that included one Booker winner. Both were featured in the Guardian, with Dr Reynolds getting two articles in rapid succession. I've been in excellent SF spirits since then.

Reading Roz Keveney's TLS review of The Best of Gene Wolfe (24 July) heightened this mood. Wolfe is a very difficult writer who has produced a body of work that is as 'literate' as anything else in SF and more so than most. Having literature of this caliber reviewed in the TLS gives the trend a big boost. I hope it boosts the sales of SF books and magazines, so that the genre can remain as vital as it now is. Perhaps SF will find new, appreciative, readers among those who previously rejected it out of hand.

Author:  Lawrence Dagstine [ Mon Aug 03, 2009 4:35 pm ]
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Personally, I'd rather see a slightly modified return to The Golden Age and Silver Age... less the Space Opera. We have too much of that already. If we can't go forward in time, we can always go back -- make it chic, fashionable.

I think it'll take more than people like Scalzi or Reynolds to manufacture that kind of "awesome return to fandomness". You know, where people are lining up outside Forbidden Planet? Remember those days? Or good, hard, quality science fiction dripped in ideas for the 21st century, believable characters we actually care about and can identify with, plots with 'actual' science behind them, and more.

While Wolfe's work is decent, who wants to read a literary story about a space cow?

My two cents.

Author:  George Berger [ Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:02 pm ]
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Here is the link to Lisa Tuttle's review of Matter : http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/ ... 288401.ece . Reading it again showed me that the only mention of disdain is the reference to the attitude of Margaret Attwood and Jeanette Winterson towards SF.

Author:  StevePalmer [ Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:00 pm ]
Post subject: 

Things are looking up for our genre!

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