A Science Fictional Linkdump

Expect a post on the Neil Gaiman episode of Doctor Who and an announcement next week, but for now here is a linkdump, largely science fiction themed:

At the Book View Café, Sherwood Smith wonders why more and more people are moving away from science fiction.

I can only answer the question for myself, but what happened to me was that science fiction gradually started moving away from the sort of SF I liked (mainly space operas and planetary romances) towards a type of SF that I didn’t like (near future cyberpunk, mundane SF, technobabble and infodump laden new British space opera with paperthin characters). That movement was already underway, when I started reading SF as a teenager in the 1980s, but there was still enough backlist and classics to sustain me as a happy SF reader well throughout the 1990s. But somewhere along the way, my literary tastes matured and I was no longer willing to accept the often lacking characterization of much Golden Age SF or do the heavy lifting myself, as there are several works of Golden Age SF where the vivid characters I remember must have existed solely in my head. The death knell was writing my MA thesis on science fiction and seriously overdosing both on SF criticism and SF in general in the process.

Science fiction seems to be very much on everybody’s mind at the moment, for the review section of the Guardian had a science fiction special this Saturday, including a profile of China Miéville, a lovely appreciation of Gene Wolfe by Neil Gaiman, a series of interviews with great SF authors who are sadly no longer with us and an article by Iain M. Banks about literary writers slumming in the science fiction genre. Lots of good stuff there.

Here is a lengthy discussion of the influence of creative writing programs on US literature from the Los Angeles Review of Books. Though it would have been much better, if there had been a link to the review/article to which the author responds included somewhere. Or at least a mention of where said review/article can be found, if it isn’t online for some reason.

Chuck Wendig has an not entirely serious post on where writers get their ideas. To be honest, I find the “Where do you get your ideas?” question baffling as well. What, you mean there are people who don’t get inundated with ideas?

Charles Tan has a post on e-books and what matters.

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