Friday, May 27

Stross On Anti-Humanist Science Fiction

Charlie Stross' latest blogpost covers the current round of infighting in the British Science Fiction Scene. I have to admit that as a reader-but-not-a-fanboy of british SF, it's all a bit over my head; I don't really care about the ridiculous cliques of in-crowds and out-crowds and "we're-better-authors-than-you-are" spats that the people who produce half of my entertainment come up with when they should be WRITING MORE BOOKS DAMMIT. That said, Charlie raises an interesting point near the end of the article: that most adventure sci-fi heroes would would be psychopaths if removed from context, and that the ur-plotarc for most sci fi would drive Normal People insane.

OK, fine, but Oz and I were talking about the pitfalls of heroic fiction a week ago today, and (though we came to no conclusions) we agreed that heroic fiction has its place. I see the point in fiction about Real People too, but that's a lot harder to get right than the heroic kind and it fails more spectacularly when it's gotten wrong. To quote my wife: "I don't want to read about people making poor life decisions. If I want that I can read the newspaper."

Besides, sometimes I identify pretty strongly with psychopaths.

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