Fantasy versus Science Fiction.
Everybody's pitching into this one.

Here's my suggestion to anyone thinking about adding to any of this: put down the laptop/keyboard, go outside, and get a frigging life, for Christ's sake. Anybody who thinks spending several hours of a hard-earned weekend thinking about this desperately needs to reevaluate the best way to use their spare time. ESPECIALLY if you're an author.

I do in fact have a take on it, but I can't really reply to the arguments being bounced around at the moment, given that by the time I get to the second paragraph of any of them, my eyes start to glaze over. Zzzzz.

No. I've got a better idea. We'll have a wrestling match at the Eastercon next year. We'll get a couple of people dressed up Mexican wrestler style and the fighter who takes three slamdowns in a role is declared the loser, and whatever literary stance she/he/it represents thereby rendered obsolete, dead, nada for eternity, and then we can get the fuck back to the bar.


paul f cockburn said...

Hey, let's cut out the wrestling match and just go straight to the bar and see who can drink who under the table. Last person still standing (or at least sitting) upright wins.

(If only all literary arguments could be sorted out like this.)

neil williamson said...

Heh, Paul. That method of literary argument has a long and noble history. Where "right" is determined by the one most able to form a coherent sentence at the end of the night.

Really though. "Differences between SF and Fantasy"? Why bother?

I'm with you Gary.

Armchair Anarchist said...

SF and F have one major thing in common...namely that they both get a kicking from the 'literati'. Until, of course, a piece of work does well enough for someone to claim that it was 'proper literature' all along, and not that filthy genre rubbish. Ah, why the infighting, when we are beset by enemies on all sides?

Good to hear you'll be at Eastercon, which I am planning to be my first convention ever (eek). Not thought of a costume yet...might wear my bike leathers and go as one of Al Reynolds' Ultras! (Or not...cough.) Further to your comments on self-promotion, have you let the organisers know you're going, 'cause you're not on the list on the site yet?

Take care...

Paul R


Anonymous said...

I can`t believe that this ancient, pedantry-encrusted argument is rearing its head again. It seems utterly clear to me that doing the SF Vs Fantasy thing by talking about science and magic is missing the point. Uh, we` re writing narrative prose here, folks; the stuff we`re dealing with is the mindsets that may be associated with the culture of science and magic - although I have to say that a lot of fantasy involves characters who seem excessively rational, almost to the point of being conventional twen-cen types. And yeah, I`ve been guilty of that crime too, mea culpa and alla that.

Shouldn`t we really be talking about why some editors don`t, er, edit, or why there is an increasingly two-tier class system in the treatment of authors, ie the superstars who get the lions share of publicity/pr etc, and the rest of us peons slaving in the fields?

Mike C