Links: 2019-10-25

Science Fiction

  • On Books | Asimov’s Science Fiction. In the course of “The Incredible Shrinking Blog” I tried to explain why I was reorienting this blog and no longer pointing people toward contemporary magazines. Ironically, I have to point people toward an article in a contemporary magazine because the brilliant Norman Spinrad (of impeccable New Wave leftist credentials) explains this far more eloquently than I could. While he is probably far too generous to all three books he reviews, his overall thesis resonates with me completely. A book on Campbell tells us that “rather than Campbell’s or anyone else’s political or cultural passions, any of us on any side who take [“political, cultural, sexual, and literary [and scientific] matters”] as thematically serious are all ipso facto ‘Campbellian’ writers.” A book of award winners by “science fiction” writers themselves, “were hodge-podges of fantasy and science fiction written by writers who didn’t seem to have a clear understanding of what made science fiction science fiction and fantasy fantasy, and can only fairly be called ‘SF,’ or worse, ‘Sci-fi.'” which “tells us that fantasy has long since come to dominate SF. It tells us that many or perhaps even a majority of these SF writers do not have the education or indeed the inclination to learn the difference between science fiction and fantasy and to dish the result out to a populace that has more than enough confusion about the difference between reality and magic already.” A hard SF novel gives him an opportunity to extol science fictional virtues and to conclude with the question that “the field” has already answered in one way and which I have answered in another.

    (By the way, I’ve long championed the notion of giving Spinrad a Grand Master but I realize that he’ll probably never get one because he doesn’t “stick to rose-colored platitudes and SFWA’s self-congratulations” and that’s okay, because he would only add luster to the award which it can no longer add to him.)





  • The Art of Darkness » Seen Online. I have to quote this one outright:  “No one ever talks about how an oubliette implies the existence of a larger, and far more terrifying, oobly.” –Brainmage


As foreshadowed in the last “Links” post, here’s some live Dead (and more) from the dead who yet live.

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