Because you can't keep a good argument down ...

Too late! You tried to turn away from the screen before the dreadful words burned themselves into your retinas, but it's true, they're talking about definitions of science fiction over at SF Signal.

My favourite is possibly Nancy Kress's (... fiction that replaces one or more facts about our current world with speculative element(s) that are presented in a way that does not seem magical. That element might be scientific or technological change, or sociological change, or just a time change -- a future reality instead of today's.), and I think Mamatas also approaches my own take when he says:

"Science fiction is that subset of fantasy fiction in which the rationalistic, as opposed to the romantic, inclinations of the audience are valorized by the narrative."

Though personally I would have stated it slightly differently if I were stating my own view:

"Science fiction is that form of fiction in which the romantic inclinations of the audience are valorized through an at least reasonably plausible rationalistic narrative."

I could go on ... and on ... but I'll spare your poor scarred brains any further injury.


Ian Sales said...

Except science fiction isn't a sub-set of fantasy. It's an entirely different mode of fiction. So there.

Anonymous said...

There is not such word as 'valorized'. Call yourselves writer...Jesus!

Gary Gibson, science fiction writer said...

Ian - which is why I took that out of my own way of phrasing it. Barrie - Dude, I did google the word, you know, and I found a definition at http://www.thefreedictionary.com/valorise, since I wasn't familiar with it myself. So there.

Anonymous said...

(Sets aside the amateurish Penguin English Dictionary and seeks enlightenment instead from that prestigious source thefreedictionary, looks up the word and gets:

1.To establish and maintain the price of (a commodity) by governmental action.
2. To give or assign a value to)

So the phrase 'inclinations of the audience are valorized by the narrative' presumably means 'inclinations of the audience are assigned a value by the narrative'

Does that mean 'pandered to' or 'catered for' because if it doesn't then I haven't a clue what it means? Whatever, it seems to me old Matamas (?is that an anagram for Smartass)is rather pretentious to use an arcane word to further obscure meaning.

No wonder the mainstream banishes F&SF to the ghetto. You'd better be wearing a yellow star when you come to the restaurant tonight.

Gary Gibson, science fiction writer said...

You're right, Barry. If it's printed on paper, it must be more true. Damn. Now I'll have to start believing all those UFO books.

The online dictionary in question is a portal that references, amongst others, the amateurish-in-print Hutchinson Dictionary. Heard of it? The particular reference is drawn from the American Heritage Dictionary, published by Houghton Mifflin, who've been publishing educational material since 1832.

Anonymous said...

I think he meant to say 'validated'. Anyway, 'valor' is the American spelling of 'valour', isn't it? Made brave?