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Getting close to the point of being nearly 'bloody annoyed', actually

An Occasional Grumpy Old Man Missive:

Which, for someone of post-war middle-class British extraction with a history of discussing and moaning about the weather, politicians, the French and the shambles that is British Rugby and Australian cricket, is pretty close to being the actual limit.

It really comes down to one simple issue: Why is science fiction associated with fantasy - As in 'Science Fiction and Fantasy' - in every bookshop and online vendor, in libraries and bookworm haunts?

Why?

Banks is no more of a mind with Terry Brooks than Asimov is with Nora Roberts, and yet Science Fiction is forever shackled to stories about fairies and the importance of feeding magic toads.

Just stop it!

I understand that 'any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic', but the corollary is not true, that any sufficiently retarded world is indistinguishable from science.

I really look forward to getting my latest Amazon marketing emails, telling me about the latest Neal Stephenson or Alastair Reynolds or John Scalzi, even a Marko Kloos or a Hugh Howey, but why do I need to know about some sword and sorcery bodice ripper? Who in their trite mind thought that my buying history indicated any interest in dragons or orcs or magic rainbow unicorn fiddling (I'm sure it's a thing!)

If I wanted to have a wank over pictures of ferocious women, buxom, scantily clad in leather and metal, I would just buy an MMA mag, or subscribe to the wrestling channel, but I'm not interested.

I have hard-bitten intergalactic assassins with extremely phallic blasters and sexy body-hugging technical wear to move my juices - there's just no need to try and tempt me with your silly fantasies.

Hell, the name itself is enough to make a strong man turn to weak drink - who can compare a 'fantasy' with a Galaxy-spanning Space Opera?

It's just not on.

So please, join with me in convincing all those myopic marketing menaces that theres just no future in Sci-Fi and Fantasy - the future is all with science!

As you were.

Comments

Barbarella? Surely she's as smoking * erm* as interesting as any Frazetta cover image, which by the way, did 'cover' both genres - as in Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Conan. Or are you going to say Deja Thoris ( -rhymes with..) is fantasy? It took place in space, didn't it? I mean Mars...
 
Kevin;bt13890 said:
Barbarella? Surely she's as smoking * erm* as interesting as any Frazetta cover image, which by the way, did 'cover' both genres - as in Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Conan. Or are you going to say Deja Thoris ( -rhymes with..) is fantasy? It took took place in space, didn't it? I mean Mars...

Presactly! I don’t need love potions to get me, ahem, ready. A tight spandex unitard and an oversized Ray-gun is perfectly adequate.

But, I believe you’ve become fixated by the shape of the leaves, while the forest burns - WHY DO I HAVE TO TRIP OVER ALL THIS RIDICULOUS IRONMONGERY IN ORDER TO FIND A PORTAL?

I actually don’t mind magic, and such - Charlie N. Holmberg and Ben Aaronovitch and China Mielville are three of my favourite authors - I’m a big H.Potter fan, and I cut my literary teeth on Tolkien, Anne McCaffrey, et al,

Its not the genre, per se, it’s the association.

Would you see a Romance and Erotic Fiction section (I know that it’s hard to wedge a fag paper between them, sometimes), or a Politics and Comedy section?

So why conflate two such wildly differing genres?

Of course it has to do with the history of paperback publishing, and how certain publishers had both genres as leading parts of their catalogues and so you saw them grouped together at trade shows and that ended up being replicated on bookshelves.

But, it’s time to stop! No need.
 
bdcharles;bt13889 said:
Remind me never to ask you to beta read for me ;)

You would be surprised at the length and depths to which I will go to be sated... ;)
 
I dabbled in Piers Anthony for a short time. I was just experimenting. It was a youthful indiscretion.
I said two "Our Padre Asimovs" and one "Hail Heinlein". Clutched my Dilithum beads. Confessed to my Mr Spock action figure.
But am I forgiven?
 
Winston;bt13895 said:
I dabbled in Piers Anthony for a short time. I was just experimenting. It was a youthful indiscretion.
I said two "Our Padre Asimovs" and one "Hail Heinlein". Clutched my Dilithum beads. Confessed to my Mr Spock action figure.
But am I forgiven?

Mr. Anthony is capable of leaving magic out of his writing, especially as a Space Tyrant, but I feel he is neither Arthur nor Martha far too often than is comfortable.

To call it a crime against nature smacks of KKKism, but somewhere in the reptilian hindbrain you know it's just not right.

Having succumbed, I'm not sure you can ever be clean again... forgiveness is between you and your maker.
 

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