Minister of Science and Chief Protector of the Faith

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Proper Literature Vs. Science Fiction

Truer words have never been spoken.

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At Sat Jan 05, 11:10:00 AM, Blogger Spocko said...

And of course when they do notice some good SF they promptly want to move it out of the SF "ghetto" as if it isn't SF anymore.

At Sat Jan 05, 11:26:00 AM, Blogger Johnny Yen said...

My stepdaughter, who loves to read, has been trying to slog through Madeline L'Engle's "A Wrinkle In Time" for a school book report and has come to the conclusion that she doesn't like science fiction.

I loved when they tried to recategorize some science fiction-- notably when it turned dystopianl, and got renamed "cyberpunk."

At Sat Jan 05, 12:19:00 PM, Blogger Randal Graves said...

The Metamorphosis 2000: Oh no, I've turned into a spaceman!

I haven't read all that much sci-fi, but being a metal fan, I sympathize with how it's constantly looked down upon by the cognoscenti. Look, not everything has to be some existential thing that takes place in two rooms in some European dive.

At Sat Jan 05, 10:23:00 PM, Blogger Eli said...

Science fiction should be shooting proper literature with a ray gun.

At Sat Jan 05, 11:18:00 PM, Anonymous the ardent thread said...

So... is H.G. Wells considered sci fi or "proper" these days? Does sci fi age well, like cheese and wine?

I think I'll go read Snow Crash again.

At Sun Jan 06, 09:19:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

YOu've just pissed off literally tens of college lit professers. As punishment you must go read Paradise Lost and a novel by Gunter Grass and write a glowing analysis of them.

At Sun Jan 06, 10:14:00 AM, Blogger anna said...

I'm an avid reader but sci fi hasn't ever been my thing.

At Sun Jan 06, 10:44:00 AM, Blogger Swinebread said...

like Jazz and classical music

At Sun Jan 06, 02:14:00 PM, Blogger Mark said...

I'm not a big SF fan, but I've read some good stuff: Tim Powers (the conceits were lame but the development of the themes was great; Philip K. Dick, always a pleasure). Who am I to argue anyway? In my forties I just read magazines and blogs, and only the occasional book. I think the important thing is to read, be the text what it may.

At Sun Jan 06, 05:20:00 PM, Blogger Comrade Kevin said...

It's not that science fiction is somehow aesthetically less pure than regular literature. There's just so much absolutely god-AWFUL sci-fi floating around out there and particularly on the internet when it seems like every fanfic fan has to contribute his/her own two cents to the genre.

That being said, there is some utterly awful "proper literature" out there as well.

At Mon Jan 07, 01:17:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Spocko: "So good it can be called literature!" Those freakin' snobs!

Johnny Yen: I remember that I didn't like "A Wrinkle In Time" either. Not enough monsters and ray guns, if you ask me.

Randal Graves: Ha! "Look, not everything has to be some existential thing that takes place in two rooms in some European dive." What a great line. (hafta' make a note!)

Eli: I agree! I thought the exact same thing.

The Ardent Thread: I think the test is if that if there are robots or spaceships, it can't be literature. Those literature guys are such snobs! I Googled "Snow Crash", I had never heard of it. It sounds like Bush America!

Dr. Monkerstein: Ha! I'll do what I always do. Read the crib notes half an hour before the test!

Anna: I am afraid that you have to read science fiction before you can graduate to the good stuff, comic books.

Swinebread: I actually think that classical musicians are less stuffy about jazz than literary types are about science fiction.

Mark: I'm like you. I haven't read an entire book in years!

Comrade Kevin: Yes, but bad science fiction is rarely held in high esteem by it's audience, whereas really bad literature is often touted as wonderful just because it is old and dusty.

At Mon Jan 07, 05:34:00 PM, Blogger Liberality said...

why the fighting, I love them both. not so big on Phillip K. Dick though, but I like his paranoid themes because I can relate sadly.

At Tue Jan 08, 11:22:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Literature would be fine - but it could be vastly improved if it had a few more monsters and ray guns, if you ask me.


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