sugoll (sugoll) wrote,

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I Wish To Protest!

In _The Scotsman_ today, Paul Riddell writes about the Project Condign report from the MOD, and wonders about the consequences of there being no intelligent life elsewhere:

"Well, for a start, we will no longer have to read science fiction, the entire marketing strategy for which is based on the nostrum that truth is stranger than fiction and that all this stuff will probably come true one day."

I was less than impressed. I responded, with:

I can only assume this is a lazy attempt at wit, rather than stupidity.Does Riddell assume people read historical fiction because they're expecting to travel back in time? Or that all the events portrayed therein actually happened as written?

Points to remember when reading science fiction:

1. Yes, most of sf is rubbish. Most of all fiction is rubbish, and sf is no different. Hold sf to the same standards as all fiction. The good stuff shines. The dregs are dreadful. Much like everything else. To treat it all as uniformly bad is no different than any other bigotry.

2. SF is supposed to be about people (engaging characters), and the here-and-now. The sf elements are the metaphors by which the author tells the story, nothing more. Yes, "supposed" is the important word here. See (1) for that good vs bad thing again.

3. Do not judge written sf by Hollywood. This may come as a shock, but mass-market movies do not do the sf genre any more favours than anything else. sf fans are as fed up by poor scripts and needless effects as the rest of you.

4. You don't have to read it. Read what you like. Better yet, read what you love. I, personally, won't judge you for it. Feel free to do me the same courtesy.
Tags: books
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