This review of My Real Children by Jo Walton first appeared in Interzone 255, November-December 2014.
Andrew Crumey, Ann Leckie, Brian McHale, Christopher Priest, David Hebblethwaite, Hugh Howie, Hugo Gernsback, Ian Sales, J.M. Sidorova, James Joyce, John Scalzi, Karen Joy Fowler, Kate Atkinson, Keith Ridgway, Laurence Sterne, Marcel Theroux, nina allan, Paul McAuley, Ruth Ozeki, Samuel R. Delany, Thomas Pynchon, Tom McCarthy, Tom Robbins, Tony Ballantyne, Ursula K. Le Guin, William Gibson
It never goes away, does it? It’s two years now since I put into words (or, perhaps more precisely, into a word), some of my enduring dissatisfactions with science fiction. The word was ‘exhaustion’. And the debate I generated then still rumbles on. It takes other forms, of course, but at heart Nina Allan, in this excellent blog post, in turn referencing this excellent blog post by David Hebblethwaite, is making much the same point: science fiction is losing interest in the new. Continue reading
One of the questions I find myself returning to time and again is: what is science fiction? Or, perhaps more accurately, why do we consider book X to be science fiction, but not book Y? The borders are fluid, porous, constantly open to being redefined, reimagined, they are never the same for any two people, they are never the same for one person at different times; yet we always end up drawing distinctions, deciding to read X as science fiction, Y as mainstream. I don’t think there is any great mystery about why this should be: we are a pigeonholing species, categorization is simply what we do. But how do we do it? What is the trigger that determines which side of our imaginary border we place any particular book? Continue reading