Now this isn’t a reaction Mark Charan Newton’s 127 comment attracting post called Why Science Fiction Is Dying & Fantasy Fiction Is The Future or a reaction to Mark Chitty’s month long (and excellent) Sci-Fi Appreciation Month both of which are worth exploring.

Instead it was caused by this weeks Mind Meld on SFSignal called:

Q: What Science Fiction Books Should Be in Every Fan’s Library? You may choose between 1 and 10 titles.

Notice the question isn’t what books will make me look like I know my SF or what books should I list in order to keep up appearances and expectations. It should be about your own fandom. The books that really turn you on and excite you. And I really hope that these books are aren’t the ones get most people’s blood pumping.

For some reasons I was quite looking forward to seeing what books people would be choosing. I thought that there would be some personal choices that I’d be able to get behind and think you know what SF is still a vibrant and lively place. I felt quite thrilled by own choices that are coming in part 2.

But no, instead the same old names  are dragged out out from their mausoleums*. The crumbling foundations of ‘modern’ SF that are, by and large, turning to dust again being chosen as if these are the books that are going to change anyones view on SF as being anything but a genre that has about as much excitement as banging your head against a wall.

It just doesn’t read like a list of a FAN. It reads either the contributors haven’t read SF since they grew up or there really isn’t any other choice. And I know that later isn’t true and I’m hoping it isn’t the former.

Now this might sound like I’m having a moan and I am but when the fantasy list comes out I wonder if it’s just going to contain a bunch of Tolkien-esque books or if the ‘new bloods’ in fantasy are going to be chosen?

I’d hope that they new bloods are considered essential to every fan of fantasy as they keep the enjoyment and excitement in the genre.

And it seems that in SF’s case all the life has dried out so long ago we are left with a bunch of crumbling corpses that will need a leap in science and probably a few prayers if there is going to be on mass excitement about the genre ever again.

*though some new names appear but not really often enough to distract from the point

Luckily there a few writers still trying to keep it alive but unless the fans that should be championing feed them and give them life they are going to fade faster than the speed of light.

So I’m hoping for a bit of a miracle and I’m asking:

Who is the new blood of SF? What books are injecting life into the genre?

Additional:

I made some more points here: Question: Why don’t Science Fiction fans look to the future? One being:

… that’s the point that lots of people are missing from my post. For a genre that is supposed to be looking to the future it seems to frozen to its past.

Additional 2:

And another post called Shoot the Cannon – SF is in danger of being introspective and inbred? Give me New Shiny! after a lengthy  Twitter debate.

100 Thoughts on “Rant: Science Fiction isn’t just dying it has crumbled to dust. Where is the new blood?

  1. I’ve been saying this for years. Just look at the many posts on the topic on my blog – although perhaps this one makes the point best: http://iansales.com/2010/03/18/the-gatekeepers-of-genre/

    • I had no idea that there was a discrepancy re US vs UK sci fi writers. *zooms to read your blog*

      I’m being educated today!

  2. I’ve been saying this for years. Just look at the many posts on the topic on my blog – although perhaps this one makes the point best: http://iansales.com/2010/03/18/the-gatekeepers-of-genre/

    • I had no idea that there was a discrepancy re US vs UK sci fi writers. *zooms to read your blog*

      I’m being educated today!

  3. Looking at the selections I’m seeing John Scalzi, Neal Asher, Iain Banks, Richard Morgan, Peter Watts, Ken MacLeod, Ted Chiang, Robert Sawyer, Jeff VanderMeer, Connie Willis, William Gibson, Kim Stanley Robinson and Charles Stross, all of whom are still publishing today (although some have been around for a little while and some of their nominated books are older). Quite a few recent books like THE SKINNER, MARKET FORCES, ACCELERANDO and BLINDSIGHT are all mentioned as well.

    Furthermore, a post called ‘What books should be in every SF fan’s library’ would by its very nature produce a number of ‘classic’ nominations over brand-new books (which haven’t had time yet to establish whether they are indeed essential additions to an SF library).

    So I’m not really seeing how this list is damning evidence of the destruction of SF. Indeed, with a number of strong recent and imminent debut authors in the field such as Jaine Fenn, Michael Cobley, Gary Gibson, Gavin Smith and Hannu Rajaniemi, I’m not really seeing much evidence for the crumbling of SF. It’s not doing as well as fantasy, but that has been continuously the case since the late 1970s. The argument that ‘American’ SF is in severe trouble with little new blood coming through and the Brits are having to prop the genre up is more convincing, but even that is changing with Scalzi’s rise in popularity and newer US authors like David Louis Edelman starting to break through.

    • Anonymous on 12 May, 2010 at 3:45 pm said:

      It’s not a classics library – it’s books that everyone should be reading. They are playing it safe with the classics, which are frankly boring and off putting and surely a diverse genre can serve up a wider range than those offered?

      Though there are some great books mentioned – too many are the same unexciting titles – are they really the best a fan can get?

      And great point about English SF doing all the heavy lifting atm – where are the Americans?

      • “It’s not a classics library – it’s books that everyone should be reading.”

        No, it’s what books we’d keep in our library, which is different that what you should be buying this week. I have only limited shelf space at my home so I went and peeked at the stuff there and decided that if I had to cull everything down to 10 essential tomes, I’d keep those.

        Granted, maybe I misunderstood the meme, but “library” to me is not the same as “should be reading right now.”

  4. Looking at the selections I’m seeing John Scalzi, Neal Asher, Iain Banks, Richard Morgan, Peter Watts, Ken MacLeod, Ted Chiang, Robert Sawyer, Jeff VanderMeer, Connie Willis, William Gibson, Kim Stanley Robinson and Charles Stross, all of whom are still publishing today (although some have been around for a little while and some of their nominated books are older). Quite a few recent books like THE SKINNER, MARKET FORCES, ACCELERANDO and BLINDSIGHT are all mentioned as well.

    Furthermore, a post called ‘What books should be in every SF fan’s library’ would by its very nature produce a number of ‘classic’ nominations over brand-new books (which haven’t had time yet to establish whether they are indeed essential additions to an SF library).

    So I’m not really seeing how this list is damning evidence of the destruction of SF. Indeed, with a number of strong recent and imminent debut authors in the field such as Jaine Fenn, Michael Cobley, Gary Gibson, Gavin Smith and Hannu Rajaniemi, I’m not really seeing much evidence for the crumbling of SF. It’s not doing as well as fantasy, but that has been continuously the case since the late 1970s. The argument that ‘American’ SF is in severe trouble with little new blood coming through and the Brits are having to prop the genre up is more convincing, but even that is changing with Scalzi’s rise in popularity and newer US authors like David Louis Edelman starting to break through.

    • Anonymous on 12 May, 2010 at 3:45 pm said:

      It’s not a classics library – it’s books that everyone should be reading. They are playing it safe with the classics, which are frankly boring and off putting and surely a diverse genre can serve up a wider range than those offered?

      Though there are some great books mentioned – too many are the same unexciting titles – are they really the best a fan can get?

      And great point about English SF doing all the heavy lifting atm – where are the Americans?

      • “It’s not a classics library – it’s books that everyone should be reading.”

        No, it’s what books we’d keep in our library, which is different that what you should be buying this week. I have only limited shelf space at my home so I went and peeked at the stuff there and decided that if I had to cull everything down to 10 essential tomes, I’d keep those.

        Granted, maybe I misunderstood the meme, but “library” to me is not the same as “should be reading right now.”

  5. As someone studying a science degree, I sometimes wonder if the problem has a root in the fact that science itself seems to be dying (in the UK at least – I don’t know about other countries). Fewer and fewer people choose to study science post-GCSE, and those that do are shoved on to much restricted courses with dull practicals (if any at all) and stressed and jaded teachers. Who is getting people excited about science any more? University science budgets are being cut, funding for research is being cut, funding for things like the British aerospace projects is being cut. And then, in the general population there is a slight resistance to science – people are wary of GM, of nanotech etc. Perhaps people prefer to escape into the bucolic worlds of traditional fantasy.

    As a reader I oscillate between fantasy and sci-fi. Normally it’s an even spread, but I haven’t read science fiction in over a year. Why? I don’t know really … but I think it has something to do with a lot of SF being ‘hard tech’ (gleaming chrome …), rather than nice wet, organic science (which as a trainee ecologist is what interests me). In SF ‘nature’ is often the baddy – a genetic plague, an alien lifeform. Maybe with the ecology of the real world taking such a hammering I’m loath to read about us doing the same to alien worlds.

    That might be a blinkered view – I haven’t read much modern SF, so perhaps the tone has changed. If so, could anyone point me in the right direction?

  6. As someone studying a science degree, I sometimes wonder if the problem has a root in the fact that science itself seems to be dying (in the UK at least – I don’t know about other countries). Fewer and fewer people choose to study science post-GCSE, and those that do are shoved on to much restricted courses with dull practicals (if any at all) and stressed and jaded teachers. Who is getting people excited about science any more? University science budgets are being cut, funding for research is being cut, funding for things like the British aerospace projects is being cut. And then, in the general population there is a slight resistance to science – people are wary of GM, of nanotech etc. Perhaps people prefer to escape into the bucolic worlds of traditional fantasy.

    As a reader I oscillate between fantasy and sci-fi. Normally it’s an even spread, but I haven’t read science fiction in over a year. Why? I don’t know really … but I think it has something to do with a lot of SF being ‘hard tech’ (gleaming chrome …), rather than nice wet, organic science (which as a trainee ecologist is what interests me). In SF ‘nature’ is often the baddy – a genetic plague, an alien lifeform. Maybe with the ecology of the real world taking such a hammering I’m loath to read about us doing the same to alien worlds.

    That might be a blinkered view – I haven’t read much modern SF, so perhaps the tone has changed. If so, could anyone point me in the right direction?

  7. I've been saying this for years. Just look at the many posts on the topic on my blog – although perhaps this one makes the point best: http://iansales.com/2010/03/18/the-gatekeepers-

  8. Looking at the selections I'm seeing John Scalzi, Neal Asher, Iain Banks, Richard Morgan, Peter Watts, Ken MacLeod, Ted Chiang, Robert Sawyer, Jeff VanderMeer, Connie Willis, William Gibson, Kim Stanley Robinson and Charles Stross, all of whom are still publishing today (although some have been around for a little while and some of their nominated books are older). Quite a few recent books like THE SKINNER, MARKET FORCES, ACCELERANDO and BLINDSIGHT are all mentioned as well.

    Furthermore, a post called 'What books should be in every SF fan's library' would by its very nature produce a number of 'classic' nominations over brand-new books (which haven't had time yet to establish whether they are indeed essential additions to an SF library).

    So I'm not really seeing how this list is damning evidence of the destruction of SF. Indeed, with a number of strong recent and imminent debut authors in the field such as Jaine Fenn, Michael Cobley, Gary Gibson, Gavin Smith and Hannu Rajaniemi, I'm not really seeing much evidence for the crumbling of SF. It's not doing as well as fantasy, but that has been continuously the case since the late 1970s. The argument that 'American' SF is in severe trouble with little new blood coming through and the Brits are having to prop the genre up is more convincing, but even that is changing with Scalzi's rise in popularity and newer US authors like David Louis Edelman starting to break through.

  9. As someone studying a science degree, I sometimes wonder if the problem has a root in the fact that science itself seems to be dying (in the UK at least – I don't know about other countries). Fewer and fewer people choose to study science post-GCSE, and those that do are shoved on to much restricted courses with dull practicals (if any at all) and stressed and jaded teachers. Who is getting people excited about science any more? University science budgets are being cut, funding for research is being cut, funding for things like the British aerospace projects is being cut. And then, in the general population there is a slight resistance to science – people are wary of GM, of nanotech etc. Perhaps people prefer to escape into the bucolic worlds of traditional fantasy.

    As a reader I oscillate between fantasy and sci-fi. Normally it's an even spread, but I haven't read science fiction in over a year. Why? I don't know really … but I think it has something to do with a lot of SF being 'hard tech' (gleaming chrome …), rather than nice wet, organic science (which as a trainee ecologist is what interests me). In SF 'nature' is often the baddy – a genetic plague, an alien lifeform. Maybe with the ecology of the real world taking such a hammering I'm loath to read about us doing the same to alien worlds.

    That might be a blinkered view – I haven't read much modern SF, so perhaps the tone has changed. If so, could anyone point me in the right direction?

  10. Anonymous on 12 May, 2010 at 3:21 pm said:

    New blood? Tobias S. Buckell, John Scalzi, Iain Banks, Paul McAuley, David Marusek, Brian Francis Slattery, and dozens of others. Another commentator left a much longer list than that…

    • Banks has been writing for over 25 years and McAuley for over 20 years, so they’re hardly “new blood”.

      • Anonymous on 12 May, 2010 at 4:17 pm said:

        I include them because they’re not dead yet, Ian. I think what we’re railing against here is the sort of nonstop “Heinlein, Asimov, and their ilk” stuff, which is great for a “classics” list, but not for a list that represents the state of the field now.

        But, we’ll remove them for the sake of being super new blood.

        Others (who are relatively new to the writing world): Edward Willett, Jack Skillingstead, Jason Sanford (no novels yet, but his short fiction is excellent), Kage Baker (she’s been at it a while, yes, but I think she counts, right?), Paul Melko, Jack Campbell, Max Brooks (kinda, if you consider zombie stuff scifi), Paolo Bacigalupi, Cherie Priest, and Lauren Beukes. I haven’t read all of these authors, but some of them, I think, are pretty obviously big stuff in SF right now. At least, I think so…

        • True enough – my point has always been that 60-year-old works are neither good entry points nor all that indicative of where the genre is now. And Banks and McAuley do what they do very well indeed – are, in fact, among the best we have – but I took Gav’s point to refer to more recent authors. Debut authors, possibly… which also throws out Jack Campbell and the late Kage Baker. But still leaves plenty.

          Thing is, secondary-world fantasy has received a shot in the arm in recent years from some “fresh young blood”, but sf is probably too diverse and varied a genre for the same to happen with as much impact. Cobley and Gibson may both have churned out excellent space opera trilogies recently – but this is New Space Opera and arguably has been around since Greenland’s Take Back Plenty (1990) or Banks’ Consider Phlebas (1987). Sf grows and new faces appear, but perhaps the problem is that it’s the GOMs and not the fresher faces who are seen as representative of the genre.

          • Anonymous on 12 May, 2010 at 5:03 pm said:

            Well, just so you know, I will fight you to the death to keep Baker there. With samurai swords or ray guns. Whichever suits you. Her work is fantastic (I love her fantasy more than her SF, though…House of the Stag was amazing).

            I wonder, though, if the problem with SF is precisely that it is so damned diverse, as you said. Authors don’t start getting notoriety, generally speaking, until they have written a considerable amount of work, perhaps? I mean, most of the folks on my list have written three or more books (most over three, and I think only two with under three). With fantasy, that might be different, since the general rule is that everyone writes a trilogy, and the readership expects that. More fresh faces arise due to that, since you develop a readership that can’t wait for the next book. With SF, most books are standalone, and while rabid fans exist, there isn’t a necessity for someone to read “the next in the series.” Unless they really love that author, they might never go back. Or, maybe they’ll come back, but it takes time to develop the same level of readership associated with fantasy trilogies.

            I’m speculating here, and I’m not sure if anything I just said makes any sense or is even true. It probably isn’t. I’m just trying to think about why SF doesn’t have the kick that fantasy still has. SF isn’t bad. It’s not dying. It’s just not impacting the way it should among those who are newly published in the genre.

          • Perhaps it’s because fantasy offers world and story (usually a variation on quest or war), whereas in sf the field it’s so much more open. So it’s easier to seem “new” in fantasy because a) it’s easier to directly compare works; and b) the narrowness of the field means new voices sound louder. In sf… well, Bacigalupi has one novel under his belt, as does Gavin Smith… but they’re very different novels.

          • Anonymous on 12 May, 2010 at 11:00 pm said:

            That’s probably true. Fantasy does seem to be very much rooted in its typicality (i.e. the “cliches” of the genre). SF is too, but it does roam a lot.

    • Anonymous on 12 May, 2010 at 3:46 pm said:

      Can I have the dozen others listed? :D

    • NateBob465 on 31 May, 2010 at 4:06 am said:

      Scalzi, Buckell, Banks … read them. Didn’t care for them. The futures they write about are horrible. I don’t want to go there. They don’t get any sales from me. Science fiction is indeed dying. Go to a convention and see the aged geezers. Everything in this universe has a life cycle. Science fiction is at its low ebb.

      • Anonymous on 31 May, 2010 at 4:21 am said:

        I’ve been to enough conventions and conferences to know you don’t know what you’re talking about…science fiction fans are a varied bunch, from really old to really young.

        So, sorry to disappoint, but science fiction isn’t going anywhere.

        • Anonymous on 31 May, 2010 at 7:17 am said:

          You’re right about it not going anywhere – it’s where it’s going that’s bothering me. But SF will continue but maybe as a historical genre….

  11. Anonymous on 12 May, 2010 at 3:21 pm said:

    New blood? Tobias S. Buckell, John Scalzi, Iain Banks, Paul McAuley, David Marusek, Brian Francis Slattery, and dozens of others. Another commentator left a much longer list than that…

    • Banks has been writing for over 25 years and McAuley for over 20 years, so they’re hardly “new blood”.

      • Anonymous on 12 May, 2010 at 4:17 pm said:

        I include them because they’re not dead yet, Ian. I think what we’re railing against here is the sort of nonstop “Heinlein, Asimov, and their ilk” stuff, which is great for a “classics” list, but not for a list that represents the state of the field now.

        But, we’ll remove them for the sake of being super new blood.

        Others (who are relatively new to the writing world): Edward Willett, Jack Skillingstead, Jason Sanford (no novels yet, but his short fiction is excellent), Kage Baker (she’s been at it a while, yes, but I think she counts, right?), Paul Melko, Jack Campbell, Max Brooks (kinda, if you consider zombie stuff scifi), Paolo Bacigalupi, Cherie Priest, and Lauren Beukes. I haven’t read all of these authors, but some of them, I think, are pretty obviously big stuff in SF right now. At least, I think so…

        • True enough – my point has always been that 60-year-old works are neither good entry points nor all that indicative of where the genre is now. And Banks and McAuley do what they do very well indeed – are, in fact, among the best we have – but I took Gav’s point to refer to more recent authors. Debut authors, possibly… which also throws out Jack Campbell and the late Kage Baker. But still leaves plenty.

          Thing is, secondary-world fantasy has received a shot in the arm in recent years from some “fresh young blood”, but sf is probably too diverse and varied a genre for the same to happen with as much impact. Cobley and Gibson may both have churned out excellent space opera trilogies recently – but this is New Space Opera and arguably has been around since Greenland’s Take Back Plenty (1990) or Banks’ Consider Phlebas (1987). Sf grows and new faces appear, but perhaps the problem is that it’s the GOMs and not the fresher faces who are seen as representative of the genre.

          • Anonymous on 12 May, 2010 at 5:03 pm said:

            Well, just so you know, I will fight you to the death to keep Baker there. With samurai swords or ray guns. Whichever suits you. Her work is fantastic (I love her fantasy more than her SF, though…House of the Stag was amazing).

            I wonder, though, if the problem with SF is precisely that it is so damned diverse, as you said. Authors don’t start getting notoriety, generally speaking, until they have written a considerable amount of work, perhaps? I mean, most of the folks on my list have written three or more books (most over three, and I think only two with under three). With fantasy, that might be different, since the general rule is that everyone writes a trilogy, and the readership expects that. More fresh faces arise due to that, since you develop a readership that can’t wait for the next book. With SF, most books are standalone, and while rabid fans exist, there isn’t a necessity for someone to read “the next in the series.” Unless they really love that author, they might never go back. Or, maybe they’ll come back, but it takes time to develop the same level of readership associated with fantasy trilogies.

            I’m speculating here, and I’m not sure if anything I just said makes any sense or is even true. It probably isn’t. I’m just trying to think about why SF doesn’t have the kick that fantasy still has. SF isn’t bad. It’s not dying. It’s just not impacting the way it should among those who are newly published in the genre.

          • Perhaps it’s because fantasy offers world and story (usually a variation on quest or war), whereas in sf the field it’s so much more open. So it’s easier to seem “new” in fantasy because a) it’s easier to directly compare works; and b) the narrowness of the field means new voices sound louder. In sf… well, Bacigalupi has one novel under his belt, as does Gavin Smith… but they’re very different novels.

          • Anonymous on 12 May, 2010 at 11:00 pm said:

            That’s probably true. Fantasy does seem to be very much rooted in its typicality (i.e. the “cliches” of the genre). SF is too, but it does roam a lot.

    • Anonymous on 12 May, 2010 at 3:46 pm said:

      Can I have the dozen others listed? :D

    • NateBob465 on 31 May, 2010 at 4:06 am said:

      Scalzi, Buckell, Banks … read them. Didn’t care for them. The futures they write about are horrible. I don’t want to go there. They don’t get any sales from me. Science fiction is indeed dying. Go to a convention and see the aged geezers. Everything in this universe has a life cycle. Science fiction is at its low ebb.

      • Anonymous on 31 May, 2010 at 4:21 am said:

        I’ve been to enough conventions and conferences to know you don’t know what you’re talking about…science fiction fans are a varied bunch, from really old to really young.

        So, sorry to disappoint, but science fiction isn’t going anywhere.

        • Anonymous on 31 May, 2010 at 7:17 am said:

          You’re right about it not going anywhere – it’s where it’s going that’s bothering me. But SF will continue but maybe as a historical genre….

  12. Simon on 12 May, 2010 at 3:43 pm said:

    Forgive me for being partisan but:

    THE QUANTUM THIEF by Hannu Rajaniemi (published later this year)
    VETERAN by Gavin Smith (published in June)
    ABSOLUTION by John Meaney
    NEW MODEL ARMY by Adam Roberts
    RETRIBUTION FALLS by Chris Wooding
    PRINCIPLES OF ANGELS by Jaine Fenn
    KEEPING IT REAL (et al) by Justina Robson
    WAKE by Robert Sawyer

    And are Stephen Baxter, Paul McCauley, Richard Morgan and Al Reynolds now considered old hat?

    And this is just some of Gollancz’s recent out put. There’s also Scalzi, Stross, Brett, Mieville, Cobley, Palmer etc etc

    SF dead? Nothing new out there? Hardly.

  13. Simon on 12 May, 2010 at 3:43 pm said:

    Forgive me for being partisan but:

    THE QUANTUM THIEF by Hannu Rajaniemi (published later this year)
    VETERAN by Gavin Smith (published in June)
    ABSOLUTION by John Meaney
    NEW MODEL ARMY by Adam Roberts
    RETRIBUTION FALLS by Chris Wooding
    PRINCIPLES OF ANGELS by Jaine Fenn
    KEEPING IT REAL (et al) by Justina Robson
    WAKE by Robert Sawyer

    And are Stephen Baxter, Paul McCauley, Richard Morgan and Al Reynolds now considered old hat?

    And this is just some of Gollancz’s recent out put. There’s also Scalzi, Stross, Brett, Mieville, Cobley, Palmer etc etc

    SF dead? Nothing new out there? Hardly.

  14. Simon on 12 May, 2010 at 3:45 pm said:

    And in terms of sales – most ‘most people haven’t heard of me’ literary writers would give their eye teeth to be selling as many copies as most ‘most people haven’t heard of me’ SF writers.

    • Oooh! I like this! It’s true though, and has been touched on in the past by Mark Newton, I think. Unless you’re a featured author on Richard and Judy and a literary writer, their books don’t sell as well as genre fiction writers. Is it because there is less competition in the genre market? This, by the way, is an honest question and not me being awkward!

  15. Simon on 12 May, 2010 at 3:45 pm said:

    And in terms of sales – most ‘most people haven’t heard of me’ literary writers would give their eye teeth to be selling as many copies as most ‘most people haven’t heard of me’ SF writers.

    • Oooh! I like this! It’s true though, and has been touched on in the past by Mark Newton, I think. Unless you’re a featured author on Richard and Judy and a literary writer, their books don’t sell as well as genre fiction writers. Is it because there is less competition in the genre market? This, by the way, is an honest question and not me being awkward!

  16. This was touched on lightly during Thursday night’s event with SFX. I forget who said it, but the gist was that not enough new authors are writing accessible science fiction for the newer readers. All you have to do is look at the age of the people writing science fiction – these guys have been doing it for a long long time and they are fantastically good at it. But it’s as if the younger generation of writers shy away from it. So maybe that’s what the question should be, not bemoan the fact that sci fi is dead and ash, but ask rather: where are the younger writers? By younger I mean say…someone be under the age of forty writing for this genre? I know age shouldn’t play any role in writing good sci fi or fantasy or whatever, but it does sort of make sense when you want to look at getting newer and younger readers into a market that is perceived as stale. Is this a bad thing to say? I have no clue. And it’s not malicious. Also, I’m speaking from personal observation here, so if I’m wrong, please tell me!

    I look at fantasy authors from all over the world – wow, they grow them young. Look at Sam Sykes, Joe Abs, Scott Lynch, Kate Griffin, Karen Miller.

    I propose the next question should be: Why is fantasy thriving whilst sci fi appears to be in a slump?

    And as Mr. Mieville said on Thursday, something to remember is the market fluctuates wildly. Horror may be gaining momentum again but it will fall flat, at the moment fantasy is riding high whereas sci fi isn’t. Paranormal romance is huge, as is YA, but these markets get saturated and there will be a levelling out of the field. And then there will be ups and down all over again. So maybe we aren’t looking closely enough to the future, only considering the current trend?

    As for books injecting new life into the genre…I have zilch idea.

  17. This was touched on lightly during Thursday night’s event with SFX. I forget who said it, but the gist was that not enough new authors are writing accessible science fiction for the newer readers. All you have to do is look at the age of the people writing science fiction – these guys have been doing it for a long long time and they are fantastically good at it. But it’s as if the younger generation of writers shy away from it. So maybe that’s what the question should be, not bemoan the fact that sci fi is dead and ash, but ask rather: where are the younger writers? By younger I mean say…someone be under the age of forty writing for this genre? I know age shouldn’t play any role in writing good sci fi or fantasy or whatever, but it does sort of make sense when you want to look at getting newer and younger readers into a market that is perceived as stale. Is this a bad thing to say? I have no clue. And it’s not malicious. Also, I’m speaking from personal observation here, so if I’m wrong, please tell me!

    I look at fantasy authors from all over the world – wow, they grow them young. Look at Sam Sykes, Joe Abs, Scott Lynch, Kate Griffin, Karen Miller.

    I propose the next question should be: Why is fantasy thriving whilst sci fi appears to be in a slump?

    And as Mr. Mieville said on Thursday, something to remember is the market fluctuates wildly. Horror may be gaining momentum again but it will fall flat, at the moment fantasy is riding high whereas sci fi isn’t. Paranormal romance is huge, as is YA, but these markets get saturated and there will be a levelling out of the field. And then there will be ups and down all over again. So maybe we aren’t looking closely enough to the future, only considering the current trend?

    As for books injecting new life into the genre…I have zilch idea.

  18. I suppose my own reaction to this depends on where you decide that SF begins and ends. If you take the hard line that for SF to be SF, it has to have real, plausible science in it and ONLY real plausible science, then I’m inclined to agree; but then that definition excludes everything from Yellow Blue Tibia (sorry Adam, but thermodynamics says NO) to Star Wars. Does SF have to be speculative fiction in which the science, plausible or otherwise, has to be more than scenery? On the other hand, what’s the difference between implausible science and magic? Does it all come down to whether you prefer your fantasy with dragons and sorcerers or with lightning cannons, FTL drives and/or psy powers?

    I think I’ve confused myself now. If there was a point, I think it was that trying to draw a line between what is and isn’t SF is probably going to grow ever more futile. For my part, I hope I will continue to find plenty of fantasy-with-big-spaceships to fill my bookcase.

  19. I suppose my own reaction to this depends on where you decide that SF begins and ends. If you take the hard line that for SF to be SF, it has to have real, plausible science in it and ONLY real plausible science, then I’m inclined to agree; but then that definition excludes everything from Yellow Blue Tibia (sorry Adam, but thermodynamics says NO) to Star Wars. Does SF have to be speculative fiction in which the science, plausible or otherwise, has to be more than scenery? On the other hand, what’s the difference between implausible science and magic? Does it all come down to whether you prefer your fantasy with dragons and sorcerers or with lightning cannons, FTL drives and/or psy powers?

    I think I’ve confused myself now. If there was a point, I think it was that trying to draw a line between what is and isn’t SF is probably going to grow ever more futile. For my part, I hope I will continue to find plenty of fantasy-with-big-spaceships to fill my bookcase.

  20. I’m not sure I could readily choose a relatively contemporary novel to fit ‘every fan’s library’ because that kind of novel isn’t always clear at the time. usually a degree of hindsight is necessary to pick up on lasting importance.

    Oh, and if you follow the, admittedly contentious, view that SF is a genre in dialogue with itself, then to engage with that dialogue surely requires awareness of its origins or earlier stages.

    A similar list of great Artists might not include anyone living, nor poets, that wouldn’t be taken as saying art or poetry is dying.

  21. I’m not sure I could readily choose a relatively contemporary novel to fit ‘every fan’s library’ because that kind of novel isn’t always clear at the time. usually a degree of hindsight is necessary to pick up on lasting importance.

    Oh, and if you follow the, admittedly contentious, view that SF is a genre in dialogue with itself, then to engage with that dialogue surely requires awareness of its origins or earlier stages.

    A similar list of great Artists might not include anyone living, nor poets, that wouldn’t be taken as saying art or poetry is dying.

  22. As a new author with a science fiction book coming out this fall, I certainly hope the genre is not crumbling to dust.
    There is still a market for the classics and high tech science fiction, and I think there’s a large market for the more ‘accessible’ science fiction. Perhaps this where most of the younger readers now fall.

  23. As a new author with a science fiction book coming out this fall, I certainly hope the genre is not crumbling to dust.
    There is still a market for the classics and high tech science fiction, and I think there’s a large market for the more ‘accessible’ science fiction. Perhaps this where most of the younger readers now fall.

  24. shaunduke on 12 May, 2010 at 3:21 pm said:

    New blood? Tobias S. Buckell, John Scalzi, Iain Banks, Paul McAuley, David Marusek, Brian Francis Slattery, and dozens of others. Another commentator left a much longer list than that…

  25. Banks has been writing for over 25 years and McAuley for over 20 years, so they're hardly “new blood”.

  26. Simon on 12 May, 2010 at 3:43 pm said:

    Forgive me for being partisan but:

    THE QUANTUM THIEF by Hannu Rajaniemi (published later this year)
    VETERAN by Gavin Smith (published in June)
    ABSOLUTION by John Meaney
    NEW MODEL ARMY by Adam Roberts
    RETRIBUTION FALLS by Chris Wooding
    PRINCIPLES OF ANGELS by Jaine Fenn
    KEEPING IT REAL (et al) by Justina Robson
    WAKE by Robert Sawyer

    And are Stephen Baxter, Paul McCauley, Richard Morgan and Al Reynolds now considered old hat?

    And this is just some of Gollancz's recent out put. There's also Scalzi, Stross, Brett, Mieville, Cobley, Palmer etc etc

    SF dead? Nothing new out there? Hardly.

  27. Simon on 12 May, 2010 at 3:45 pm said:

    And in terms of sales – most 'most people haven't heard of me' literary writers would give their eye teeth to be selling as many copies as most 'most people haven't heard of me' SF writers.

  28. nextread on 12 May, 2010 at 3:45 pm said:

    It's not a classics library – it's books that everyone should be reading. They are playing it safe with the classics, which are frankly boring and off putting and surely a diverse genre can serve up a wider range than those offered?

    Though there are some great books mentioned – too many are the same unexciting titles – are they really the best a fan can get?

    And great point about English SF doing all the heavy lifting atm – where are the Americans?

  29. nextread on 12 May, 2010 at 3:46 pm said:

    Can I have the dozen others listed? :D

  30. This was touched on lightly during Thursday night's event with SFX. I forget who said it, but the gist was that not enough new authors are writing accessible science fiction for the newer readers. All you have to do is look at the age of the people writing science fiction – these guys have been doing it for a long long time and they are fantastically good at it. But it's as if the younger generation of writers shy away from it. So maybe that's what the question should be, not bemoan the fact that sci fi is dead and ash, but ask rather: where are the younger writers? By younger I mean say…someone be under the age of forty writing for this genre? I know age shouldn't play any role in writing good sci fi or fantasy or whatever, but it does sort of make sense when you want to look at getting newer and younger readers into a market that is perceived as stale. Is this a bad thing to say? I have no clue. And it's not malicious. Also, I'm speaking from personal observation here, so if I'm wrong, please tell me!

    I look at fantasy authors from all over the world – wow, they grow them young. Look at Sam Sykes, Joe Abs, Scott Lynch, Kate Griffin, Karen Miller.

    I propose the next question should be: Why is fantasy thriving whilst sci fi appears to be in a slump?

    And as Mr. Mieville said on Thursday, something to remember is the market fluctuates wildly. Horror may be gaining momentum again but it will fall flat, at the moment fantasy is riding high whereas sci fi isn't. Paranormal romance is huge, as is YA, but these markets get saturated and there will be a levelling out of the field. And then there will be ups and down all over again. So maybe we aren't looking closely enough to the future, only considering the current trend?

    As for books injecting new life into the genre…I have zilch idea.

  31. shaunduke on 12 May, 2010 at 4:17 pm said:

    I include them because they're not dead yet, Ian. I think what we're railing against here is the sort of nonstop “Heinlein, Asimov, and their ilk” stuff, which is great for a “classics” list, but not for a list that represents the state of the field now.

    But, we'll remove them for the sake of being super new blood.

    Others (who are relatively new to the writing world): Edward Willett, Jack Skillingstead, Jason Sanford (no novels yet, but his short fiction is excellent), Kage Baker (she's been at it a while, yes, but I think she counts, right?), Paul Melko, Jack Campbell, Max Brooks (kinda, if you consider zombie stuff scifi), Paolo Bacigalupi, Cherie Priest, and Lauren Beukes. I haven't read all of these authors, but some of them, I think, are pretty obviously big stuff in SF right now. At least, I think so…

  32. Oooh! I like this! It's true though, and has been touched on in the past by Mark Newton, I think. Unless you're a featured author on Richard and Judy and a literary writer, their books don't sell as well as genre fiction writers. Is it because there is less competition in the genre market? This, by the way, is an honest question and not me being awkward!

  33. I had no idea that there was a discrepancy re US vs UK sci fi writers. *zooms to read your blog*

    I'm being educated today!

  34. True enough – my point has always been that 60-year-old works are neither good entry points nor all that indicative of where the genre is now. And Banks and McAuley do what they do very well indeed – are, in fact, among the best we have – but I took Gav's point to refer to more recent authors. Debut authors, possibly… which also throws out Jack Campbell and the late Kage Baker. But still leaves plenty.

    Thing is, secondary-world fantasy has received a shot in the arm in recent years from some “fresh young blood”, but sf is probably too diverse and varied a genre for the same to happen with as much impact. Cobley and Gibson may both have churned out excellent space opera trilogies recently – but this is New Space Opera and arguably has been around since Greenland's Take Back Plenty (1990) or Banks' Consider Phlebas (1987). Sf grows and new faces appear, but perhaps the problem is that it's the GOMs and not the fresher faces who are seen as representative of the genre.

  35. shaunduke on 12 May, 2010 at 5:03 pm said:

    Well, just so you know, I will fight you to the death to keep Baker there. With samurai swords or ray guns. Whichever suits you. Her work is fantastic (I love her fantasy more than her SF, though…House of the Stag was amazing).

    I wonder, though, if the problem with SF is precisely that it is so damned diverse, as you said. Authors don't start getting notoriety, generally speaking, until they have written a considerable amount of work, perhaps? I mean, most of the folks on my list have written three or more books (most over three, and I think only two with under three). With fantasy, that might be different, since the general rule is that everyone writes a trilogy, and the readership expects that. More fresh faces arise due to that, since you develop a readership that can't wait for the next book. With SF, most books are standalone, and while rabid fans exist, there isn't a necessity for someone to read “the next in the series.” Unless they really love that author, they might never go back. Or, maybe they'll come back, but it takes time to develop the same level of readership associated with fantasy trilogies.

    I'm speculating here, and I'm not sure if anything I just said makes any sense or is even true. It probably isn't. I'm just trying to think about why SF doesn't have the kick that fantasy still has. SF isn't bad. It's not dying. It's just not impacting the way it should among those who are newly published in the genre.

  36. I suppose my own reaction to this depends on where you decide that SF begins and ends. If you take the hard line that for SF to be SF, it has to have real, plausible science in it and ONLY real plausible science, then I'm inclined to agree; but then that definition excludes everything from Yellow Blue Tibia (sorry Adam, but thermodynamics says NO) to Star Wars. Does SF have to be speculative fiction in which the science, plausible or otherwise, has to be more than scenery? On the other hand, what's the difference between implausible science and magic? Does it all come down to whether you prefer your fantasy with dragons and sorcerers or with lightning cannons, FTL drives and/or psy powers?

    I think I've confused myself now. If there was a point, I think it was that trying to draw a line between what is and isn't SF is probably going to grow ever more futile. For my part, I hope I will continue to find plenty of fantasy-with-big-spaceships to fill my bookcase.

  37. I'm not sure I could readily choose a relatively contemporary novel to fit 'every fan's library' because that kind of novel isn't always clear at the time. usually a degree of hindsight is necessary to pick up on lasting importance.

    Oh, and if you follow the, admittedly contentious, view that SF is a genre in dialogue with itself, then to engage with that dialogue surely requires awareness of its origins or earlier stages.

    A similar list of great Artists might not include anyone living, nor poets, that wouldn't be taken as saying art or poetry is dying.

  38. As a new author with a science fiction book coming out this fall, I certainly hope the genre is not crumbling to dust.
    There is still a market for the classics and high tech science fiction, and I think there's a large market for the more 'accessible' science fiction. Perhaps this where most of the younger readers now fall.

  39. Perhaps it's because fantasy offers world and story (usually a variation on quest or war), whereas in sf the field it's so much more open. So it's easier to seem “new” in fantasy because a) it's easier to directly compare works; and b) the narrowness of the field means new voices sound louder. In sf… well, Bacigalupi has one novel under his belt, as does Gavin Smith… but they're very different novels.

  40. shaunduke on 12 May, 2010 at 11:00 pm said:

    That's probably true. Fantasy does seem to be very much rooted in its typicality (i.e. the “cliches” of the genre). SF is too, but it does roam a lot.

  41. The question practically invites people to name the classics so I don’t really see anything odd about the answers SF signal has received.

    I also think it is pretty hard to tell which young, new writer is going to make a lasting impact on the genre. Writers tend to peak in their late forties or early fifties, at which time the quite often have a number of novels (published or unpublished) under their belt. Hot, new author X may very well end up forgotten because their books don’t have that certain something that makes them lasting. How are we to tell?

    If you want a name though… Paolo Bacigalupi is one of those writers who in my eyes writes exciting stuff. Admitted it is pretty dark and there is a big risk that it will not age gracefully. The environmental themes he is using are very much an issue NOW. I have no idea how a next generation will look at them.

  42. The question practically invites people to name the classics so I don’t really see anything odd about the answers SF signal has received.

    I also think it is pretty hard to tell which young, new writer is going to make a lasting impact on the genre. Writers tend to peak in their late forties or early fifties, at which time the quite often have a number of novels (published or unpublished) under their belt. Hot, new author X may very well end up forgotten because their books don’t have that certain something that makes them lasting. How are we to tell?

    If you want a name though… Paolo Bacigalupi is one of those writers who in my eyes writes exciting stuff. Admitted it is pretty dark and there is a big risk that it will not age gracefully. The environmental themes he is using are very much an issue NOW. I have no idea how a next generation will look at them.

  43. “It's not a classics library – it's books that everyone should be reading.”

    No, it's what books we'd keep in our library, which is different that what you should be buying this week. I have only limited shelf space at my home so I went and peeked at the stuff there and decided that if I had to cull everything down to 10 essential tomes, I'd keep those.

    Granted, maybe I misunderstood the meme, but “library” to me is not the same as “should be reading right now.”

  44. The question practically invites people to name the classics so I don't really see anything odd about the answers SF signal has received.

    I also think it is pretty hard to tell which young, new writer is going to make a lasting impact on the genre. Writers tend to peak in their late forties or early fifties, at which time the quite often have a number of novels (published or unpublished) under their belt. Hot, new author X may very well end up forgotten because their books don't have that certain something that makes them lasting. How are we to tell?

    If you want a name though… Paolo Bacigalupi is one of those writers who in my eyes writes exciting stuff. Admitted it is pretty dark and there is a big risk that it will not age gracefully. The environmental themes he is using are very much an issue NOW. I have no idea how a next generation will look at them.

  45. Anonymous on 13 May, 2010 at 2:03 pm said:

    “But no, instead the same old names are dragged out out from their mausoleums. The crumbling foundations of ‘modern’ SF that are, by and large, turning to dust again being chosen as if these are the books that are going to change anyones view on SF as being anything but a genre that has about as much excitement as banging your head against a wall. It just doesn’t read like a list of a FAN.”

    I just can’t take seriously an article that 1) willfully misconstrues the point of the original list, and 2) says so many silly things in a row.

  46. Anonymous on 13 May, 2010 at 2:03 pm said:

    “But no, instead the same old names are dragged out out from their mausoleums. The crumbling foundations of ‘modern’ SF that are, by and large, turning to dust again being chosen as if these are the books that are going to change anyones view on SF as being anything but a genre that has about as much excitement as banging your head against a wall. It just doesn’t read like a list of a FAN.”

    I just can’t take seriously an article that 1) willfully misconstrues the point of the original list, and 2) says so many silly things in a row.

  47. lorq on 13 May, 2010 at 2:03 pm said:

    “But no, instead the same old names are dragged out out from their mausoleums. The crumbling foundations of ‘modern’ SF that are, by and large, turning to dust again being chosen as if these are the books that are going to change anyones view on SF as being anything but a genre that has about as much excitement as banging your head against a wall. It just doesn’t read like a list of a FAN.”

    I just can't take seriously an article that 1) willfully misconstrues the point of the original list, and 2) says so many silly things in a row.

  48. nextread on 13 May, 2010 at 2:10 pm said:

    That was a bit of a pointless comment really wasn't it…

  49. musicalcolin on 14 May, 2010 at 2:07 am said:

    This post strikes me as nonsense. Canon formation, which is basically what is going on in the Mind Meld, is a sign of a disciplines maturity, not of stagnation. Also, just to clarify you’re asking: “Who is the new blood of SF? what books are injecting life into the genre.” While they’re asking: “What Science Fiction Books Should Be in Every Fan’s Library? You may choose between 1 and 10 titles.” I suspect that had they asked your question they would have gotten different answers. But they didn’t. It’s really a shame they didn’t ask your question because then you wouldn’t have had to complain that they didn’t answer your question.

  50. musicalcolin on 14 May, 2010 at 2:07 am said:

    This post strikes me as nonsense. Canon formation, which is basically what is going on in the Mind Meld, is a sign of a disciplines maturity, not of stagnation. Also, just to clarify you’re asking: “Who is the new blood of SF? what books are injecting life into the genre.” While they’re asking: “What Science Fiction Books Should Be in Every Fan’s Library? You may choose between 1 and 10 titles.” I suspect that had they asked your question they would have gotten different answers. But they didn’t. It’s really a shame they didn’t ask your question because then you wouldn’t have had to complain that they didn’t answer your question.

  51. musicalcolin on 14 May, 2010 at 2:07 am said:

    This post strikes me as nonsense. Canon formation, which is basically what is going on in the Mind Meld, is a sign of a disciplines maturity, not of stagnation. Also, just to clarify you're asking: “Who is the new blood of SF? what books are injecting life into the genre.” While they're asking: “What Science Fiction Books Should Be in Every Fan’s Library? You may choose between 1 and 10 titles.” I suspect that had they asked your question they would have gotten different answers. But they didn't. It's really a shame they didn't ask your question because then you wouldn't have had to complain that they didn't answer your question.

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  53. Sir, you are An Idiot.

  54. Sir, you are An Idiot.

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  56. Sir, you are An Idiot.

  57. Oh that’s just great! At last my book is published, and I’m told sci-fi is a pile of dust! Sheeze.

  58. Oh that’s just great! At last my book is published, and I’m told sci-fi is a pile of dust! Sheeze.

  59. Oh that's just great! At last my book is published, and I'm told sci-fi is a pile of dust! Sheeze.

  60. Seth on 16 May, 2010 at 5:31 am said:

    Chris Moriarty, David J. Williams, Justina Robson, Nina Kiriki Hoffman’s ‘Catalyst’, Carlos Cortes

    I’ve read a lot of good newer science fiction over the last few months. Why is it sooooo much easier to find blogs discussing goings-on in the fantasy genre than any focusing on science fiction? I’ve read some great new fantasy recently as well but, in the realm of my own isolated assesment, I have not found the balance of quality of the ‘new stuff’ in either genre to be standing well ahead of the the other. It’s only when I go online looking for some comradeship that I realize how much more popular fantasy seems to be these days. 

    I have no master level knowlegde of the states of the genres. I don’t run a reviews blog (I envy you, sir) and am not aware of everything being published, so I may be missing something. Furthermore, I have always tended to split my reading equally between science fiction and fantasy and that may bias my appraisal toward equivalency. But hasn’t fantasy always had a wider appeal? When I was a kid in the 80s it was much easier to find other kids who liked fantasy fiction than those who liked science fiction.   

    The two have never FELT the same to me. It makes me wonder why they are being interrogated side by side in these blog debates. My purely speculative argument, based primarily on my own experience, is that fantasy fiction’s popularity is generated by a far more comfortable relationship with threat, with the unknown, than is found in science fiction. At the risk of sounding political, threat in fantasy fiction has already been gentrified, and is really not very threatening at all. The threats and othernesses that distinguish fantasy fiction are from sources (magical & historical) that we have already effectively eliminated in reality or passed through as a civilization. That’s why curling up with a really good fantasy novel is so comforting. We get to enjoy those old experiences by proxy. Reading good science fiction, on the other hand, has something far more terrifying about it. It is about threat and difference and otherness that has not yet been solved, has not been assimilated comfortably into our private fantasies, and certainly has not been passed through. 

    Perhaps it is no wonder that the golden age of science fiction coincided with the cold war, that last era of clearly delineated political others, when threat had it’s focus and it’s fetish. The modern subject has a far different relationship with threat and the unknown now than it did thirty to fifty years ago. The political, economic and environmental challenges are different and probably more confusing than ever. I would argue that the relative current popularities of the genres is reflective of this and that perhaps it is not science fiction that is failing the readers, but the readers who are failing science fiction. 

     

  61. Seth on 16 May, 2010 at 6:31 am said:

    Chris Moriarty, David J. Williams, Justina Robson, Nina Kiriki Hoffman’s ‘Catalyst’, Carlos Cortes

    I’ve read a lot of good newer science fiction over the last few months. Why is it sooooo much easier to find blogs discussing goings-on in the fantasy genre than any focusing on science fiction? I’ve read some great new fantasy recently as well but, in the realm of my own isolated assesment, I have not found the balance of quality of the ‘new stuff’ in either genre to be standing well ahead of the the other. It’s only when I go online looking for some comradeship that I realize how much more popular fantasy seems to be these days. 

    I have no master level knowlegde of the states of the genres. I don’t run a reviews blog (I envy you, sir) and am not aware of everything being published, so I may be missing something. Furthermore, I have always tended to split my reading equally between science fiction and fantasy and that may bias my appraisal toward equivalency. But hasn’t fantasy always had a wider appeal? When I was a kid in the 80s it was much easier to find other kids who liked fantasy fiction than those who liked science fiction.   

    The two have never FELT the same to me. It makes me wonder why they are being interrogated side by side in these blog debates. My purely speculative argument, based primarily on my own experience, is that fantasy fiction’s popularity is generated by a far more comfortable relationship with threat, with the unknown, than is found in science fiction. At the risk of sounding political, threat in fantasy fiction has already been gentrified, and is really not very threatening at all. The threats and othernesses that distinguish fantasy fiction are from sources (magical & historical) that we have already effectively eliminated in reality or passed through as a civilization. That’s why curling up with a really good fantasy novel is so comforting. We get to enjoy those old experiences by proxy. Reading good science fiction, on the other hand, has something far more terrifying about it. It is about threat and difference and otherness that has not yet been solved, has not been assimilated comfortably into our private fantasies, and certainly has not been passed through. 

    Perhaps it is no wonder that the golden age of science fiction coincided with the cold war, that last era of clearly delineated political others, when threat had it’s focus and it’s fetish. The modern subject has a far different relationship with threat and the unknown now than it did thirty to fifty years ago. The political, economic and environmental challenges are different and probably more confusing than ever. I would argue that the relative current popularities of the genres is reflective of this and that perhaps it is not science fiction that is failing the readers, but the readers who are failing science fiction. 

     

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  67. NateBob465 on 31 May, 2010 at 4:06 am said:

    Scalzi, Buckell, Banks … read them. Didn't care for them. The futures they write about are horrible. I don't want to go there. They don't get any sales from me. Science fiction is indeed dying. Go to a convention and see the aged geezers. Everything in this universe has a life cycle. Science fiction is at its low ebb.

  68. shaunduke on 31 May, 2010 at 4:21 am said:

    I've been to enough conventions and conferences to know you don't know what you're talking about…science fiction fans are a varied bunch, from really old to really young.

    So, sorry to disappoint, but science fiction isn't going anywhere.

  69. nextread on 31 May, 2010 at 7:17 am said:

    You're right about it not going anywhere – it's where it's going that's bothering me. But SF will continue but maybe as a historical genre….

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