The Sword and Laser discussion

341 views
Scifi / Fantasy News > The New Statesman Says: Your Genre Sucks

Comments Showing 1-50 of 206 (206 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3 4 5

message 1: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Okay, the article is a bit nicer about it. A bit.

I read the 100 “best” fantasy and sci-fi novels - and they were shockingly offensive


Basically out of the 100 novels on the NPR list of best SF books, the only ones with strong female characters were Doomsday Book and A Fire Upon the Deep. Most of them didn't even have female characters in a major role, or any role more significant than set decoration.


message 2: by Alan (new)

Alan | 534 comments It's highly selective of the author to have ignored all the books on the NPR list that don't have that problem or were explicitly dealing with it. It's also interesting that the highest ranked book she mentions is number 33 - Dragonflight (and that she doesn't mention the author's name).

That said there are definite gender issues with lots of books from the 50's and earlier. Also, it's not an issue that affects me as directly as a reader so maybe it's not my place to criticize her slant.


message 3: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2693 comments I tend to stay away from "classic" SFF for that reason - I can't ignore the sexism. It completely derails the enjoyment of the book for me.


message 4: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2781 comments A lot of those books are genre classics but that doesn't mean they don't have issues by today's lights. Don't kid yourselves, today's most enlightened books will have issues 50 years on too.

I wonder, though, if this is a genre thing at all, really. If we took a 100 best list that was similarly weighted so many of the classics were from 30, 40,50 years ago, would they fare better?

She takes on Clarke's Rendevous with Rama and implies it should be better than it is since it's a 1973 book and that's amusing. 1973 wasn't particularly enlightened by our standards. Yes, better than 1933, but remember it's still just one generation past WW2. Many of the people writing in '73 were born much earlier, in the 20s or 30s and it's those years that would have formed their attitudes.


message 5: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2693 comments Skimming her reviews of the books, it seems like if a book doesn't fit her exact criteria, she says it sucks. If she has to put any effort into or if it's over 500 pages, it's terrible and she rants about it for the whole review.


message 6: by Ken (new)

Ken (kanthr) | 334 comments Yeah, and that's exactly the kind of person I'll never pay attention to. I want authors to challenge me, believe in my power of reason and vocabulary, and not dumb-it-down for me. I want them to write for an educated, intelligent, worldly audience. Most writers don't do this. The ones that do, have become my treasures.


message 7: by Nathan (new)

Nathan (tenebrous) | 377 comments I suppose you could do the same with literary fiction and you would have similar results. Works reflect the era they are made.


message 8: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2781 comments Kenneth - the two things (diversity and challenging fiction) aren't exclusive. In fact, I'd argue that they are somewhat related in that the world tends to be diverse and not simplistic with men always the leads, women relegated to the sidekick role, etc. Historically most genre has been written by men though, so we naturally make people like us the hero. This is why I think it's key to have more authors from different backgrounds (people of color, women, etc). Broaden the author pool and we'll broaden the stories being told.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Did she read any Asimov? Or Octavia Butler? Or where is Mary Shelley? Isn't she considered the creator of the genre?

There is classic science fiction for everyone but the problem is that these lists are subjective. I could cater her a list of science fiction authors that also excel in looking at humanity's social development.


message 10: by Rick (last edited Aug 14, 2015 02:20PM) (new)

Rick | 2781 comments To be fair, Anja, she was critiquing the NPR list here - http://www.npr.org/2011/08/11/1390858... - and taking it a representative of a best of list or at least best according to popular voting.

I think her point was that the lists we tout as best of the genre are, in fact, rather biased. For example, if there's no Butler on there (and there isn't) why not? Same for no Delany. (the list has neither, but has World War Z which, while good, is mostly there because zombies are hot).

The more salient point is that the list is a bit crap. As all such lists are, especially ones that are popularly chosen (relying, as such a method does, on being widely known by the voting populace).


message 11: by Ken (new)

Ken (kanthr) | 334 comments Rick wrote: "Kenneth - the two things (diversity and challenging fiction) aren't exclusive. In fact, I'd argue that they are somewhat related in that the world tends to be diverse and not simplistic with men al..."

I never said they were exclusive Rick.

My personal opinion is that people should write what they know. I don't want a re-write of The Hobbit with black people and Bilbo as a woman. It's just not right for that story. Rather than advocate for authors to meet some silly quota of equality, I instead read authors who are interested in writing about various experiences and conditions, various points of view. I read Chinese authors, South American authors, European authors, gay and lesbian authors, women and men, atheists, satanists, devout believers, etc. I read what I want to discover. I'd be offended if any organization or party decided to start regulating fiction and forcing it to include token diversity or female characters just to meet some kind of quota that masquerades as equality. The answer is not to homogenize authors. Heinlein was a sexist. I can read his works and appreciate the science element without accepting the sexism. I suggest that others seek out what they want to read - because by buying stories from various walks of life, various points of view, that is how we advocate for an actual equality - not this silly trend of trying to raise "awareness" of the "imbalance" in fiction from a hand-picked list. It's a strawman fallacy and it's akin to trying to preserve the shape of the clouds on a particular day. It's the wrong approach.

I refuse to acknowledge any sort of compiled list of what someone thinks is "good for me".


message 12: by Brendan (last edited Aug 14, 2015 02:35PM) (new)

Brendan (mistershine) | 930 comments I agree with Rick and Anja that "the list is a bit crap" is the major lesson to be drawn from this article.

Also, I would point out to Sean that his title makes it seem as though the author is an outsider but she definitely identifies as a genre fan ("We deserve better as fans of the genre").


message 13: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3909 comments The author so thoroughly misunderstood Dragonflight that I don't know that I could trust any more of the article.

I suppose everyone's opinion is valid in that it is genuinely their opinion. But Dragonflight was pretty feminist for its time. It landed Anne McCaffrey as a juggernaut in the otherwise very male dominated SF author pool of the day. Bagging on Dragonflight is ignoring history.


message 14: by Alan (new)

Alan | 534 comments Anja wrote: "Did she read any Asimov? Or Octavia Butler? Or where is Mary Shelley? Isn't she considered the creator of the genre?

There is classic science fiction for everyone but the problem is that these li..."


The list included Mary Shelley and Asimov. It also included Ursula LeGuin, Diana Gabaldon, Lois McMaster Bujold, Jacqueline Carrey and probably a few others. It didn't have Octavia Butler (and most horribly did have Terry Goodkind) but it was a voted on list so stuff happens.

She clearly did not read more than a useful to her fraction of the list.


message 15: by Brendan (new)

Brendan (mistershine) | 930 comments Dragonflight had a ton of sketchy stuff in it. Not noticeable when I read it as a kid but thinking back there's a lot about Lessa's relationship and the whole weyr system that's pretty messed up.


message 16: by Rick (last edited Aug 14, 2015 04:46PM) (new)

Rick | 2781 comments "My personal opinion is that people should write what they know. I don't want a re-write of The Hobbit with black people and Bilbo as a woman. It's just not right for that story. "

No one is asking that. You're arguing against a straw man.

I read Chinese authors, South American authors, European authors, gay and lesbian authors, women and men, atheists, satanists, devout believers, etc."

Goody for you. However, you're in denial if you think that most South American authors or Chinese authors get significant exposure in the US genre market (and the US SFF market is probably the largest venue for our genre). You're also in denial if you think it's just as easy for a woman to get published as it is for a man. In case you do think that, read this: http://jezebel.com/homme-de-plume-wha...

"I'd be offended if any organization or party decided to start regulating fiction and forcing it to include token diversity or female characters just to meet some kind of quota that masquerades as equality. "

Don't be ridiculous. Again, no one is proposing that. Again, you're putting up a straw man.

The entire point is that increasing the diversity in what's published and what's reviewed and promoted is a good thing. Don't pretend anyone is going to take away your authors - that lame 'logic' belongs in the gamergate forums, not here. Me, I want more books from more people including people who aren't like me. They have to be good, but I can only judge that if they're actually published and if I can find them, i.e. they get reviewed, considered for awards, etc.

I refuse to acknowledge any sort of compiled list of what someone thinks is "good for me".

You really love your straw men, don't you? Because no one proposed that in this article.


message 17: by Ken (last edited Aug 14, 2015 05:25PM) (new)

Ken (kanthr) | 334 comments I think you've entirely misread everything I wrote. It's a subtle point, but I'll try to restate it more clearly:

You "want more books from more people including people who aren't like me".

They already exist, in great number. As you say, they are not popular.

The solution is not to scream and yell for them to be made popular, but to buy and read them. Support those view points by buying those books, not by advocating for some kind of false balance.

You say, "increase the diversity in what's published and reviewed is a good thing."

How are you proposing (yes, I am going to use that word, which you brushed away) this be accomplished?


message 18: by Michal (last edited Aug 15, 2015 08:07AM) (new)

Michal (michaltheassistantpigkeeper) | 294 comments I get the impression that she didn't read all the books on that list, or at least chooses not to talk about a good chunk of them.

But I agree that any "best of" list that includes "A Spell for Chameleon" on it is automatically crap.


message 19: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 15, 2015 08:23AM) (new)

^ Hahaha!

Essentially, the best way to get recommendations tailored to your tastes is to ask someone who knows you personally. Otherwise, whenever you enter someone else's "best of" list you are entering into their taste and may be disappointed. There are critically acclaimed science fiction authors that fit her criteria and whom she would like. There are also science fiction authors that are incredibly influential in the genre whom she may not like.

But yes, some authors don't understand subsets of humanity well. That doesn't mean that their books suck by far. The characters may be a bit meh but some books are acclaimed because of the ideas and less about the characters. A book may be on a "best of" list because of one thing that it did exceptionally well that connected with the critic. I think expecting one writer to be able to connect with the literary needs of an entire planet is unreasonable. That's why we read diversely. I'll read Arthur C. Clarke for his sciencey stuff but not for his female characters. That's fine. I have other authors I can read for their female characters. Obviously, I will mention in my review that Arthur C. Clarke's views on women left something to be desired, but I won't deny his impact on the genre just because of that.

But honestly, there are so many books out there that forcing yourself to read something that is obviously frustrating you just feels meh.


message 20: by Ronald (new)

Ronald Carson | 135 comments Just because those books don't have a female lead or a strong female character, doesn't mean they're bad books. It just means there is a vacuum of great books with female leads yet to be written.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Ronald wrote: "Just because those books don't have a female lead or a strong female character, doesn't mean they're bad books. It just means there is a vacuum of great books with female leads yet to be written."

There are quite a few great books with female leads already written that are under represented in these lists.


message 22: by Michal (new)

Michal (michaltheassistantpigkeeper) | 294 comments It just means there is a vacuum of great books with female leads yet to be written.

Guess all those great books I read with female leads don't exist. Should I go check my bookshelf to see if Jack of Kinrowan is still there? Or The Tombs of Atuan? Or Brown Girl in the Ring, Bellwether, The Privilege of the Sword...


message 23: by Ronald (new)

Ronald Carson | 135 comments Michal wrote: "It just means there is a vacuum of great books with female leads yet to be written.

Guess all those great books I read with female leads don't exist. Should I go check my bookshelf to see if Jack ..."

Jack of Kinrowan was a good book, and I love de Lint's stuff, but I don't even consider it one of his three best books. It's sitting at about a half million on the Amazon best seller rankings. That's not exactly a classic that's standing the test of time.

There is a thousand years of books in sci-fi and fantasy out there that are written with male leads.
So, the male lead books have quite the head start on the female lead books. We shouldn't start cramming books into the top 100 lists that have female leads, just to even out the list. These things need to happen naturally, and they will. Female lead books are a recent phenomenon, and they're not going away. There will be plenty that climb onto those lists in due time. It's like compiling a list of the greatest world leaders of all time, and then screaming that the list is garbage because it's dominated by males. Yeah, no duh. Female politicians on a global scale are a relatively recent phenomenon, too. Sure, you have an Elizabeth type here and there, but you're not gonna get a balanced list. Give it time.


message 24: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3909 comments Anja, do you have a top-five you would like added? I'm interested in what you think is missing.

My reading list is a little short for the next month. A re-read of Dragonflight may be in order, plus I don't recall reading The Dispossessed since grade school. I could use some suggestions.


message 25: by Dharmakirti (last edited Aug 21, 2015 01:53PM) (new)

Dharmakirti | 942 comments You mean to tell me that works of art created in the past are going to have problems when looked at using today's standards? My reaction: no f----ing duh.

I guess I've always understood that depiction is not endorsement. When I read and I come across a depcition that startles me, I need to ask myself "why do I think the author is putting this in here? what purpose does this serve?" And when trying to answer that question, I need to cling to the principle of charity. So, in the article where the author writes,
"For some reason, the book wants the reader to cheer on a rapist (and this isn’t the only book that asks you to do this). These sort of characters made me hate a book. I couldn’t like a character that raped someone. I couldn’t care less if the world was destroyed. How could anyone? Is this really the best the fantasy genre has to offer? "


I get the impression that the article's author didn't make any attempt to acutally engage and question the text, she looked at the depiction and passed judgement. I think that is lazy reading.

Edit: I also wonder if the author of the article has even heard of the principle of charity.

Wow...that article pissed me off. Sorry for ranting and offending anyone with my comments. I will shut up now.


message 26: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 21, 2015 01:42PM) (new)

I went through my favourites shelf, and here are some science fiction and fantasy novels with female protagonists or antagonists. Albeit, with any list this is based on my personal preferences.
1. Bitter Seeds - has an excellent female "antagonist (Sci Fi + Fantasy)
2. Any book of Robots short stories by Isaac Asimov will feature Susan Calvin or another female scientist. Asimov is critically acclaimed, it's not just my opinion. (Sci Fi)
3. The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories by Susanna Clarke who wrote Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. A collection of short stories in the JS universe featuring women. (Fantasy)
4. Dreamships by Melissa Scott. This a cyberpunk novel which is very world building centric. An interest in cyberpunk is required or you will be bored bored bored. Features a post-Earth future focusing on a planet which was colonized by people from East and South Asia. (Sci Fi)
5. Kindred by Octavia Butler. Protagonist finds herself shifted in time to the American South. (Sci Fi)
6.Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey which features a Medieval French fantasy setting. (Fantasy)
7. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood which is a dystopia. (Sci Fi)
8. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. The less said and spoiled about this book, the better. It's a book I reread whenever I feel nihilistic. The characters have a very bleak future but still manage to find joy and meaning day to day. (Sci Fi)
9. Sabriel by Garth Nix Fantasy thriller featuring a necromancer.(Fantasy)
10. This Is Not a Game by Walter Williams. Questions about video games, gamers and their relationships with meatspace.

Special note goes to Scott Lynch, whose universe is 50% women. His main characters are primarily men but half the soldiers, merchants, peasants are women with speaking roles. That means a lot to me. He also has quite a few interesting female antagonists.

Special note also goes to Terry Pratchett who doesn't write a lot of women but when he does they are always interesting and full of depth.

I only have two which are hard science fiction, not because the genre lacks interesting female characters, but because it's not a genre I spent a lot of time in.

I'd also like to mention Uncanny Magazine Issue 1: November/December 2014 which features science fiction and fantasy stories with female protagonists. StoryBundle also currently has a bundle http://storybundle.com/scifi called "Women in Sci Fi".

The books are there. But you do have to hunt for them because you won't find a lot of them on top 10 lists or bestseller lists. Also, note that a bunch of these authors are men. :) I roll my eyes whenever someone says, "We should only write from our perspective" or "write what we know". I do believe in encouraging women writing about women but I think it's also important to engage and explore the "Other" through writing.

This blog is written by a very respect fantasy critic (http://starsbeetlesandfools.blogspot....) and is a very in depth look in what makes a female character "well written". I highly encourage reading it for all writers because in the end it's a primer on "writing good characters" in general.


message 27: by Ronald (new)

Ronald Carson | 135 comments Anja wrote: "I went through my favourites shelf, and here are some science fiction and fantasy novels with female protagonists or antagonists. Albeit, with any list this is based on my personal preferences.
1. ..."


Love Kushiel's Dart. That and the Asimov stories are probably my favorites.


message 28: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 171 comments Anja wrote: "Did she read any Asimov? Or Octavia Butler? Or where is Mary Shelley? Isn't she considered the creator of the genre?

There is classic science fiction for everyone but the problem is that these li..."


Asimov and Sagan both thought that Frankenstein was the first science fiction novel.


message 29: by Anfenwick (new)

Anfenwick (anne-fenwick) | 46 comments Sean wrote: "...I read the 100 “best” fantasy and sci-fi novels - and they were shockingly offensive

Basically out of the 100 novels on the NPR list of best SF ..."


I reckon it's the list of 'best' fantasy and sci-fi novels that wants throwing out the window, not the genres themselves.


message 30: by Ronald (new)

Ronald Carson | 135 comments Papaphilly wrote: "Anja wrote: "Did she read any Asimov? Or Octavia Butler? Or where is Mary Shelley? Isn't she considered the creator of the genre?

There is classic science fiction for everyone but the problem is ..."


It depends on what the intent of the book is, and at the time, the thought of a created person was horrific. Also, the novel is very light on science. The how is very thin. That's why it's categorized as horror, because it was thought the novel was intended to elicit horror at the thought of this creature walking around. I mean, I'd like to "defend" the genre by saying it should have been classified as sci-fi, but my guess is that it's correctly classified as horror.


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Ronald wrote: "Papaphilly wrote: "Anja wrote: "Did she read any Asimov? Or Octavia Butler? Or where is Mary Shelley? Isn't she considered the creator of the genre?

There is classic science fiction for everyone ..."


Science Fiction has never just been about "Accurate science". It has also been about, "If this technology were to take place, how would humanity react"? Which is exactly what Mary Shelley did.


message 32: by Sean (new)

Sean | 350 comments Other Sean here:

I've only skimmed the article, but I had to stop when the author got to Brandon Sanderson's The Final Empire (which was on the list as part of the Mistborn Trilogy). I stopped there, because the article's author went on about how terrible women are treated in the book's setting, and yet somehow totally missed that the heroes might consider that a bad thing.

Also, glancing through NPR's list, I will admit that there is a preference for works with male protagonists. However, the article's author does seem to cherry-pick - there's no mention of The Handmaid's Tale (#22), The Mists of Avalon (#42), anything by Neil Gaiman (particularly Neverwhere, #48; and Stardust, #52), or Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (#80), and again only mentions Sanderson's Final Empire, completely ignoring The Way of Kings (#71).


message 33: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Ronald wrote: "
It depends on what the intent of the book is, and at the time, the thought of a created person was horrific. Also, the novel is very light on science. The how is very thin. That's why it's categorized as horror, because it was thought the novel was intended to elicit horror at the thought of this creature walking around. I mean, I'd like to "defend" the genre by saying it should have been classified as sci-fi, but my guess is that it's correctly classified as horror. "


Frankenstein wasn't classified as science fiction because Shelley wrote it about 110 years before Hugo Gernsback coined the term. Whenever we discuss 19th Century literature as SF, we're projecting modern conventions backwards and aren't bound by what people at the time thought.

(They wouldn't have classed it as horror, either, but as a Gothic, which is the predecessor of the horror, mystery and romance genres.)

In any case, Shelley's science is handwavey, but that's equally true of Asimov (seriously, what do positrons have to do with robot brains?) and many other SF authors.


message 34: by Sean (new)

Sean | 350 comments Other Sean here:

First off, anyone trying to claim there's any science in Frankenstein clearly hasn't read the book. There's never any discussion of *how* Frankenstein reanimates his creature - all of that comes from the movies.

Second, saying science fiction didn't exist before the term was coined is demonstrably false - why create a term for something that doesn't exist? Also, what would you classify the works of Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, and Arthur Conan Doyle's Professor Challenger works as?


message 35: by Hesper (last edited Aug 22, 2015 12:28PM) (new)

Hesper | 85 comments There is science in Frankenstein. Of a sort. Galvanism, which was a distinct part of the era's scientific discourse. In the 1831 preface to the third edition, Mary Shelley explicitly mentions galvanism as an influence.

She only alludes to this in the book, but there are strong implications that the creature was animated through galvanic methods, particularly in the direct linking of lightning imagery and the creature. A contemporary reader would have been very likely to recognize it as scientific speculation. All Hollywood did is visually elaborate on what was already there.


message 36: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Sean wrote: "First off, anyone trying to claim there's any science in Frankenstein clearly hasn't read the book. There's never any discussion of *how* Frankenstein reanimates his creature - all of that comes from the movies."

Victor spends three whole chapters on his research, first into the dead ends of alchemy, and then into medical study. When it comes to his actual breakthrough, he refuses to say what he discovered, but that's no less scientific than the vague explanations we get about psychohistory in the Foundation novels, or the working of time travel in The Time Machine.

Second, saying science fiction didn't exist before the term was coined is demonstrably false - why create a term for something that doesn't exist? Also, what would you classify the works of Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, and Arthur Conan Doyle's Professor Challenger works as?

Genres are collections of conventions that are shared across similar works. Once a genre is defined and authors know what goes in it, it affects their writing -- even when they bend a genre, they're conscious of how their work relates to the conventions. But books like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Frankenstein, and The Time Machine, written before there was anything recognizable as "science fiction," were making it up as they went along. The best you can say is they created conventions that later became codified in what we call "science fiction".


message 37: by Sean (new)

Sean | 350 comments Other Sean here:

I was going to go into how arguing that works written before a genre was given a name is a terrible argument, but instead I'm just going to link to someone who's already said it better than I could:

http://www.zauberspiegel-online.de/in...


message 38: by John (Nevets) (new)

John (Nevets) Nevets (nevets) | 1541 comments Hoodie Sean, I in general agree with the point I believe you are making about names not making the works, but works making the name. But I disagree with so many other points in that article, that I think you are polluting your argument by referencing it.

Red Shirt Sean ( I was trying to avoid that, but Hoodie Sean has sun glasses on as well), I've never bought the argument that most creative writers write for the niche, instead of the story they are trying to convey. Yes, we apply labels to things, and group them together once created, but not usually before. If I thought this was true I could understand why some authors don't like to be labeled as SF writers, but I don't get that either.


message 39: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 171 comments Sean wrote: "Other Sean here:

First off, anyone trying to claim there's any science in Frankenstein clearly hasn't read the book. There's never any discussion of *how* Frankenstein reanimates his creature - al..."


Those writers you mentioned are after Frankenstein was published. As for the point that the science is washy, OK you win, but guess what, it still doesn't exclude it from the science fiction genre. Sagan and Asimov are both important from this one perspective, Asimov was one of the OG Grandmasters of Science Fiction and Sagan was a noted scientist and author who wrote a very good science fiction novel himself. They know their stuff.

For my perspective, it is Jules Verne and H. G. Wells that truly shaped the genre in the beginning. It is from their shaping of the early cannons that the rest of the genre has blossomed. Excluding them from the genre because the genre was yet named is plain silly.

For a little perspective, Rock and Roll as a music style existed before it was a term coined by Alan Freed. The music existed and was being played on the radio when Alan blurted the term out during a radio broadcast. Should we exclude Bill Hailey and the Comets from the Rock and Roll hall of fame because their hit Rock Around the Clock existed before the genre was coined?

By the way, Mary Shelley also wrote a PA fiction about the end of the world from plague. Quite a few writers have written very good novels in the same vein. Should we exclude her book from that pantheon because it came first?


message 40: by Sean (new)

Sean | 350 comments My point was that claiming something isn't science fiction because it was published before the term existed makes no sense; such works can be retroactively reclassified.

Also, I'm aware of when Frankenstein was published, unlike, say, the creators of the show Penny Dreadful. That's actually one of my few complaints about the show, along with Frankenstein being British.


message 41: by Sean (new)

Sean | 350 comments My point was that claiming something isn't science fiction because it was published before the term existed makes no sense; such works can be retroactively reclassified.

Also, I'm aware of when Frankenstein was published, unlike, say, the creators of the show Penny Dreadful. That's actually one of my few complaints about the show, along with Frankenstein being British.


message 42: by Papaphilly (last edited Aug 23, 2015 08:45PM) (new)

Papaphilly | 171 comments Sean wrote: "My point was that claiming something isn't science fiction because it was published before the term existed makes no sense; such works can be retroactively reclassified.

Also, I'm aware of when Fr..."


I owe you an apology. I actually misread your statement. You are only responsible for what you write, not what I read. I became confused for moment when I read the link to the excellent post and thought you missed the author's point and responded
With your last post, I went back and reread what you wrote. I will leave my shame up for all to read and take the lesson to read carefully.

My mistake.

Please accept my apology.


message 43: by Sean (new)

Sean | 350 comments No problem. As long as you ignore me accidentally posting the same comment twice. (Stupid Goodreads app)


message 44: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3909 comments No worries Hoodie-Sean, it could happen to anybody.


message 45: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3909 comments No worries Hoodie-Sean, it could happen to anybody.


message 46: by Matthew (new)

Matthew (matthewdl) | 341 comments John (Taloni) wrote: "No worries Hoodie-Sean, it could happen to anybody."

Pfft, only to amateurs.


message 47: by Matthew (new)

Matthew (matthewdl) | 341 comments John (Taloni) wrote: "No worries Hoodie-Sean, it could happen to anybody."

Pfft, only to amateurs.


message 48: by Matthew (new)

Matthew (matthewdl) | 341 comments But on a serious note I think that by the time you get to Wells and Verne you have the term "scientific romance" floating around. Of course the gothic style of Mary Shelley comes out of the Romantic movement so there's a strong link there even if you don't like to call Frankenstein "Sci-Fi" (which I do).

That's something I've always found interesting. I think it would be a lot of fun to trace the inheritence from romances to scientific romances to pulp science fiction. Sounds like a good reading project for 2016.


message 49: by Michal (new)

Michal (michaltheassistantpigkeeper) | 294 comments Frankenstein's not science fiction.

It's fantastika.

Get with the program, people!


message 50: by Ronald (new)

Ronald Carson | 135 comments Sean wrote: "Ronald wrote: "
It depends on what the intent of the book is, and at the time, the thought of a created person was horrific. Also, the novel is very light on science. The how is very thin. That's w..."


The book's publisher classifies it as horror. Libraries classify it as horror or literary. I've never seen it classified as sci-fi.


« previous 1 3 4 5
back to top