Thursday, May 12, 2016

Quote! - Quote!! - Quote!!!

Nina Allan, in her musing on the 2016 Arthur C. Clarke Award nominee list, notes the following ('notes' may be too light a word):

"Truly great science fiction – that is, science fiction that pays attention to itself in terms of literary values – needs no special pleading. Indeed I would go a lot further than this. I would suggest that if a work of science fiction cannot stand next to works drawn from the mainstream and hold its own in terms of literary values, we need to be asking ourselves if it is truly great."

Highlighting the gap,  Allan sets M. John Harrison's Kefahuchi Tract novels alongside Ann Leckie's Radch trilogy as an example... 

Bravo to Allan for attempting not only to keep the bar high, but also for applying an un-blindered view to genre, as indeed, the biggest reason most sf is not taken seriously by the literati is due to the simple fact its literary values are generally so poor by contrast.  Style, precision, sub-text, voice, perspective, structure, ambition...

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