Edward Lear
I’ve been commenting that publishing of science fiction remain strong, there seems to be a decline in the actual science content of the stories. We’re getting down the nitty-gritty now about why it’s hard to 1) write real, hard, unsentimental SF, and 2) to find someone interested in publishing it.

Jonathan McCalmont wrote a fairly cynical piece here on this in 2012. McCalmont refers to a Paul Kincaid survey of “year’s best” anthologies, where the critic pronounces SF an “exhausted” genre. Kincaid suggests that SF’s problem is that “it has lost confidence that the future can be apprehended.” McCalmont then follows this with his own comment, “science fiction has lost interest in the world and fallen out of step with the times, resulting in the emergence of a narcissistic and inward-looking literature devoid of both relevance and vitality.”

He’s talking about a trend to complacency among speculative fiction writers, a condition where they don’t think about science anymore, or the philosophy of science, or where current policies related to science are leading us. Being scientifically, socially and politically aware is an important function of an intellectual community of writers. Science fiction, after all, has the potential to both interpret and stimulate discussion of science-related issues for the public of readers. McCalmont sees the decline of SF as a catastrophic failure.

More on this later.

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