Science Fiction Repair Shop: Reality ... What A Concept Dept.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2013-06-16 01:51:13 No comments


Jeannette Walls - By the Book - NYTimes.com

I’m not a huge fan of experimental fiction, fantasy or so-called escapist literature. Reality is just so interesting, why would you want to escape it?

I have a hard time not seeing this as a way to completely miss the point. At its best, SF&F is not about escaping from what exists, but about transmuting what exists -- allowing ourselves to see things in a new way. Reality is fascinating, but it's also only reality. The two are not zero-sum.

If other authors of straight fiction have this attitude as well -- and I have good reason to believe it's prevalent -- that goes a long way towards explaining why most attempts by litfic to borrow SF tropes and trappings fall so flat.

And some SF&F authors have the same problem, just in reverse. They see reality as being so boring that it's not worth doing anything with except escaping from. Small wonder SF&F and litfic don't think they have anything to teach each other.


Tags: Science Fiction Repair Shop fiction realism science fiction