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SF Tidbits for 7/24/07

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

3 Comments on SF Tidbits for 7/24/07

  1. joshua corning // July 24, 2007 at 6:15 pm //

    “I’ve never been too fond of swords and sorcery stories, and I think the reason is the deus ex machina cop-out that is so often applied to the genre, namely ‘Magic.’

    My problem with fantasy is that they tend to resemble romances in that the main characters never seem to be in to much jeopardy….in the end they are going to come out just fine.

    In SF this seems less the case…main characters in fact even the narrator die often…along with civilization, justice and just about anything you might hold a value to is in a fair amount of frequency utterly destroyed.

    I should note that there are obvious exceptions and also that this is just my personal asthetic preference.

    I also should note that i don’t necessarily prefer tragedy…only that in Sci Fi because tragedy is common much like real life it is easier for me suspend my disbelief.

    disclaimer: SciFi and Fantasy are works of fiction and entertainment…this is just my preference and not a claim that I am some holder of authentic tastes or better tastes. People should read what ever they like to read.

  2. joshua corning // July 24, 2007 at 7:52 pm //

    Clarke, Asimov, Heinlein, all the way back to Wells… I’m finding based on biographies that a lot of science-fiction authors I grew up reading are atheists. And I wonder if there is a link – atheists interested in the physical realm, in what mankind will become, while the more alembics and stuffed-alligator crowds look to a past with ogres and stoats and pixies and FUCKING ELVES

    ah and so the boom drops.

    Brain Stab’s argument goes:

    “I am an atheist and therefor a superior being….and therefor my entertainment preferences are superior.”

    What garbage, and on so many levels.

  3. Anonymous // July 24, 2007 at 11:20 pm //

    Hmm. I know Asimov was an atheist — late in life, at least — but I’m not sure the writer is 100% correct on the others. In any case, religious beliefs, or lack thereof, don’t seem entirely relevant to a discussion of fantasy vs. science fiction, and I say that as a staunch atheist.

    I was with him up until the deus ex machina part, though… that seems like an accurate criticism of a lot of fantasy that I’ve read.

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