It’s the time of year for the annual “SF is dying” lament again. This time around the chorus is led by Paul Kincaid, who reviews three “Year’s Best” anthologies and finds them lacking (too many old tropes, too many space whales – Mormon space whales at that, too much fantasy, too much stuff that is about the characters rather than the speculative) and Ian Sales who is dissatisfied with this year’s Hugo awards, the Hugos in general and the fact that SF seems to ignore the present and no longer looks to the future.
Now I freely admit that some of the Hugo categories are rather strange (he doesn’t even mention “Best related work” which has serious literary analysis competing with filk CDs to the detriment of both), I’m not all that happy with the current state of the SF genre myself and haven’t been for fifteen years at least (though fantasy has its islands of good stuff) and I flat-out hated last year’s Hugo/Nebula winner Black-out/All Clear and think that the Mormon space whale story reads like a 1960s Star Trek episode with added Mormonism*. But the gist of both posts still seems to be “People aren’t writing the sort of SF I want to see”.
Damon J. Courtney has somewhat ambivalent thoughts on the trend towards gritty epic fantasy. I largely share his ambivalence.
And while on the subject of gritty epic fantasy, here is a hilarious parody of those “It gets better” videos done to encourage gay teens suffering from bullying (which is a very laudable project by the way) aimed at Game of Thrones fans depressed after reading the third book. Found via Jay Lake.
I expect an outcry when the TV show gets to that point next spring. Though Robb Stark never did it for me physically. For me, the real eye-candy in Game of Thrones are Jon Snow (though he’s too young for me) and Jaime Lannister (may be a twincest committing bastard, but he’s a hot twincest committing bastard) as well as the late lamented Ned Stark.
*Yes, I did read it. Largely to see what all the uproar and outrage was about and partly because I did commit a space whale story of my own.