Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Paul Kincaid's Latest

My intention this week was to survey the responses to Paul Kincaid's LARB article and to our subsequent interview with him (part 1 and part 2). As it happens, Paul has beaten me to the punch, and done so with characteristic sophistication. His blog post is, of course, much more far-ranging than the simple roundup I had planned, and goes way beyond the confines of the LARB article or our interview. Here's a small taste so you can see how good it is:
Similarly, casting a story forward into the future or outward to a different world is enough to make the story science fiction, but science need not be central to either. Where is the science in The Martian Chronicles or Dhalgren or Stranger in a Strange Land or The War of the Worlds? Science fiction is comfortable with a scientific worldview, tends to espouse a rationalist perspective, deals with the knowable. So in the sense that ‘science’ is derived from the Latin for ‘to know’, science clearly has a place within the structure and intent of science fiction; but science as an enterprise, as a set of procedures, has at best a tangential relationship with science fiction.