that the one sure way to up your traffic with a blog is to stick XXX in the title.
As I suspected, the fascination with SFnal BDSM imagery has not faded with time.
I guess I’ll have to do some kind of weekly feature: Feast your eyes on this week’s PROBED BY ALIENS retro cover…
Lots of livejournal coverage of that one. Makes me wonder a bit about who I’m hanging out with.
File 770 posted my outrage over twisted history. Mike makes a distinction between ‘sci fi fanzine’ and ‘fandom’s fanzines’. Considering my small rant about sci fi below, I guess Mike’s right.
Skiffytube has dropped back down in the SF purity ratings game this week. Not even a full third of the programming is remotely science fiction. This was accomplihsed by removing all SF content from the channel for an entire day this week.
It’s probably a test.
In line with skiffy tube the channel, we now have the skiffy language police. Alistair Reynolds says “So here’s a suggestion. We get over the sci-fi thing. We can still keep talking about SF and science fiction, but we should give up the knee-jerk sense of insult whenever the sci-fi label is applied to what we do.”
Wrong. This attitude is so dreadfully Neville Chamberlain. Earlier in the piece Alistair said “To the average person in the street, sci-fi is what we do. It’s what copy-editors will always insist on putting into newspaper articles, even if the original author used the terms SF or science fiction. And guess what, I’m a sci-fi writer. I write sci-fi books. They get shelved in the sci-fi section.”
To them it’s what we do. And to the current administration, what they do at Guantanamo Bay isn’t torture. It’s ‘intensive interrogation’.
SF - SCIENCE FICTION – is about words and language as much as it is about anything else. Any political hack will tell you that once you start letting the other side create the definitions, you’ve lost.
It may be a lost cause – it certainly seems that way – but I’d much prefer to go down fighting than to tuck tail and run.
Maintaining the distinction may actually work in the long run. Every day I get news feeds from google. One covers the keyword Sci Fi, the other the keyword Science Fiction. The Sci Fi feed produces links to stories that are almost universally crap: ECW discussions, bad anime, clueless ramblings about what star someone hopes to get an autograph from, paranormal television show reviews, self-published novels seeking a reader. The Science Fiction feed produces links to reviews of real SF literature, commentary about conventions, fanzine reviews, new technologies, serious discussion and some frivolity. (The SF feed gets stories from the San Francisco Chronicle…)
It is clear from two plus years of google newreader feeds that Sci Fi is the great unwashed public’s name of choice for vaguely spacey CRAP. So let them keep it and use it. Let it spread. Because as popular terms spread, they water down and generalize, and I wouldn’t be at all upset if Sci Fi becomes a generalized word for CRAP.
THOSE people who use the word Sci Fi use it to describe all kinds of things that we know aren’t really Science Fiction. As far as we’re concerned, the word is already synonymous with crap. Give it a few years and everyone will know that it’s synonymous with crap. It won’t be too much longer before THEY will have done the work for us, and there will be a true distinction between Sci Fi (crap) and Science Fiction (that literature thing).
Skiffy Tube is already educating a generation to believe that Sci Fi is profressional wrestling and ghost hunting. Which are decidedly NOT science fiction. So let’s encourage them to use the word Sci Fi as a stand-in for excrement. Soon, very soon, when we say Science Fiction, they’ll know we’re not talking about Sci Fi. I live for the day when someone stubs their toe or hits their thumb instead of the nail and shouts out in pain and agony – “OH SCI FI!”
(Apologies to Bill the Sci Fi guy who uses the phrase to suck in unsuspecting wrestling fans and then exposes them to Science Fiction.)
Here’s a guy who gets EVERYTHING wrong. From Ansible: ”From a local-paper story celebrating Garry Jon Simpson’s feat of publishing his sf novel through the ‘author-funded’ Athena Press: ‘I enjoy writing science fiction as you don’t have to do a lot of research for it.’ (Winsford Guardian, 21 August) [SHS]“
Now read it again with my edits: “From a local-paper story celebrating Garry Jon Simpson’s feat of publishing his sci fi novel through the ‘author-funded’ Athena Press: ‘I enjoy writing sci fi as you don’t have to do a lot of research for it.”
See? Now it actually makes sense and you don’t feel so embarrassed for Garry Jon anymore, do you?
Nader coments on the ‘death of science fiction’ here. I have unformulated objections to his contentions and intend to ramble on about them, probably later on today.
I will say one thing. I sure hope it’s sci fi that’s dead and not science fiction.