I was sent a link to an interesting article about science fiction’s position with the literary mainstream:Why science fiction authors just can’t win.
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I’d never really thought about how to classify books like The Handmaid’s Tale and 1984, other than as “distopian” (which tends to acquire the suffix “fantasy” by default). (And after reading the article, the only thing I am sure of is that Margaret Atwood has become altogether too proficient in double-think …)
I’ve always loved reading fantasy and science fiction. Yes, like any other genre, there is a large amount of rubbish as well as superb writing. (To quote from the article: ‘90% of anything is crap.’) I really don’t understand why it’s considered “not quite nice”. It gives authors so much freedom to explore their subject, and that’s got to be a good thing, surely? When publishers churn out derivative versions of anything that sells even reasonably well, and wonder why people aren’t buying so many books these days?
Here’s a thought – is science fiction/fantasy the verse libre of literature?