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Io9 Proclaims the Death of Written SF

io9 is stirring the pot again…this time by listing 5 Reasons To Stop Reading Science Fiction.

To summarize:

  1. SF is now real life.
  2. It’s been colonized by mainstream literature authors like Cormac McCarthy.
  3. It’s turned into pure fantasy.
  4. The fanbase is ancient.
  5. Rackspace is shrinking.

The first few commenters give reasons why sf is neither “obsolete” nor “pointless” nor “dead” as the post proclaims.

io9’s sensationalism aside, the article does little to connect individual statements with factual data about reading habits and sales. But then again, these arguments are attributed to “a gang of critics”. What’s the point of…oh yeah…Sensationalism = Page Hits + Ad Dollars!

See also: David Louis Edelman’s response to this perennial battle cry.

About John DeNardo (13013 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

7 Comments on Io9 Proclaims the Death of Written SF

  1. Having a photoshopped picture of a UFO unleashing a death ray over my favorite local SF bookstore doesn’t get them points in my book. πŸ™‚

  2. io9: More sensational headlines, less actual research, fact-checking or writing!


  3. Get em Tim! I know how much you respect Gawker media. :-@

  4. so, if 1 and 3 are true, we must assume that real life has turned into pure fantasy πŸ˜€

  5. Edward Milewski // March 18, 2008 at 2:21 pm //

    Well… the truth is my science fiction rack space at my local store is perhaps smaller. However my sf rackspace via the internet is maybe universal in scope. I now have access to virtually everything at my fingertips, both old and new. By this criteria I have more reason to read than ever.

  6. Ah Gawker, let me see how can I put this without sounding angst ridden and hateful… Oh wait, I can’t πŸ™‚

    Basically, I don’t read Gawker for the simple reason that every entry is intended to get a response from at least one reader, and they go out of their way to be childish. I used to read the gaming blog and the gadget blog over there (and I will not give them free links). They would post NSFW images and smarmy information that would be there to simply pander to an audience of 15 year old boys. I find that my time is better served reading the same information on sites like Engadget or Worthplaying which have some smarm but tend to be a bit more mature in presenting information….

    As to this topic, I am sure we can search the wonderful database and find several instances where the sky has been falling for printed media. The audiobook or the e-books will somehow come through and take over. Let us not quibble over the cost of such devices to consume the media nor the fact that these things require power. Also they cannot be used when planes are taking off and landing, and if they have a wireless signal cannot be used in some hospital environments. Oh wait and the fact that not everything written is published in that format…

    Now I am being sarcastic, but the fact is that this type of topic is guaranteed to get responses. That is what they are going for – my suggestion is to get your real news here at SFSignal and avoid io9…

  7. io9 doing SF kind of reminds me of Pat Boone doing heavy metal.

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