Has Science Fiction Fallen By The Roadside?

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I recently read Paul Goat Allen’s latest article concerning the demise of Science Fiction in Literature on the “Explorations” web page, part of Barnes & Noble. Paul argued that fantasy had taken over in the reading world. The following is my comment to his article:

Science Fiction like all other genre’s falls in and out of fashion. What was popular in the 1950’s and 60’s gets rediscovered and reinvented by later generations. Book genre’s fall in and out of fashion like everything else. Nothing is new. Everything gets rediscovered over time. It is completely understandable that the current generation read fantasy, using the genre as a literary head in the sand approach to the problems of the day.

But subjects like global warming, population explosion, modern day warfare, famine and exploitation in the third world are all subjects for future science fiction novels, not fantasy, which to my mind is why the current reading fashion decrees that fantasy is, for the moment, king.

Is science fiction dead? No, merely taking a snooze, waiting for fashion and fads to change once more, putting science fiction back where it belongs at the forefront of literary exploration Paul.”

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2 Comments
  1. B.r. Stateham says

    I agree with the idea that good hardcore Sci-Fi is becoming rare to find. Fantasy and Horror have taken over. But the sad truth is the market is large enough for all three to exist in–yet everyone goes where the ‘trendy’ venues are first. And stay there for a long, long time.

  2. Jason Smart says

    Fantasy has taken over because fantasy writers give the readers what they want. the biggest problem with science fiction lies in the fact that 95% of science fiction consists of war stories and stories about military characters, nothing else. be it the ‘racist robot rampage’ or the ‘rebellion against the police state’ or alien invasion themes, it boils down to science fiction being an endless list of war stories. back in the 1970’s it might have been fresh, but now it has become boring. Most readers cannot relate to characters that are super soldiers so they get bored.
    The rise of the so-called ‘hard’ science fiction also tends to move into the war/violent conflict stories as well. many works claim to be scientifically accurate, but then only with technology. Economics, demographics and politics tends to be based on ‘current projections’ which turn out wrong after two to five years. Worse is the characters, again people readers cannot relate to. All ‘super qualified’ military personnel. Until science fiction writers try other themes instead of war, fantasy will remain dominant.

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