SF Writing

I think Buzz Lightyear captured the issue:

Buzz_LightyearBeyond infinity; that’s the issue. A funny, sarcastic line that is suggestive that some, maybe a lot, of science fiction writing ….. sucks. I’ve embarked on this little project to read SF looking for examples of “post-literacy” (examples of literacy practices that extend current practices or are wholly new; it’s background work for the PhD I’m undertaking).

I started with a (“the”) classic, Shelley’s Frankenstein. It was brilliant in every dimension; story, concepts, writing. Then I moved on to some others including Arthur C. Clarke (Childhood’s End),  Walter Miller Jr. (A Canticle for Leibowitz), and Robert Heinlein (A Stranger in a Strange Land). Yikes. Some interesting ideas but the writing is poor (if not horrible in some cases).

I know I’ve still got lots to read and will undoubtedly find some good writers along the way. I’ve just started to re-read Neuromancer (William Gibson, 1984) and it is has startling and wonderfully written as I remember it many years ago. Review to follow soon.

Hope springs eternal.


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