Uncategorized | September 08, 2004

The literary world has long debated the death and dying of both poetry and the novel, the relevance and influence of such forms in a modern technological age. But has science fiction–the popular genre that seeks to look to the future–run its course?

An article in the Globe & Mail considers a “crisis of confidence” that has emerged among writers and aficianados of the genre, submerged as it seems to be by a “flood of clichés.”

The piece in the Globe & Mail quotes a recent lament in Popular Science magazine, “Is Science Fiction About to Go Blind?” “The recent crop of stories mostly take the form of fantasy (elves and wizards), alternate history (what if the Black Death had been earlier?) and space operas about interstellar civilizations in the year 12,000 (which typically gloss over how those civilizations evolved from ours), only a small cadre of techno-prophets is attempting to extrapolate current trend and imagine what our world might look like in the next decades.”

The problem, as the Globe & Mail points out, can be seen in the submission guidelines for Strange Horizons, an online journal of speculative literature: “Stories We See Too Often.”