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Thu Sep 7, 2017, 09:27 PM

Sci-Fi and Fantasy Have Infiltrated the Literary Mainstream

At Long Last...

Science fiction and fantasy writing has long been disparaged within the literary world. While older works like Frankenstein and 1984 have gained classic status, many critics deride contemporary sci-fi and fantasy—typically without actually reading it. The prestigious anthology series The Best American Short Stories tends to eschew science fiction and fantasy, except at the behest of unusually sympathetic guest editors like Michael Chabon or Stephen King.

But things are changing fast. The genre took a major step toward respectability this year with the release of the first-ever Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, edited by John Joseph Adams. Adams feels the book is long overdue. “I and other science fiction fans believe that the best science fiction and fantasy is on par with or better than any other genre,” he says in Episode 177 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “My goal with The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy was to prove that.”

Horror author Joe Hill served as this year’s guest editor. His job was to select the final 20 stories—from the 80 chosen by Adams—to be included in the book. In recent years he’s seen a shift in the way that people view the genre. “The instruments of science fiction and fantasy—the tools in that genre toolbox—have been out there in the literary world and being explored for at least a decade now, in work by people like Jonathan Lethem, Michael Chabon, Margaret Atwood, and Cormac McCarthy,” he says. “Science fiction and fantasy is part of the literary mainstream, and has been for a while now.”

Adams hopes The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy will prove that readers don’t have to choose between wild concepts and literary quality. Good sci-fi and fantasy deliver both, which is what makes them so hard to write.

Read more:
https://www.wired.com/2015/11/geeks-guide-sci-fi-fantasy-mainstream/?mbid=social_twitter_onsiteshare

(cross-posted in Science Fiction Group)

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Reply Sci-Fi and Fantasy Have Infiltrated the Literary Mainstream (Original post)
hermetic Sep 2017 OP
bagelsforbreakfast Sep 2017 #1
Ohiya Sep 2017 #2

Response to hermetic (Original post)

Thu Sep 7, 2017, 09:32 PM

1. Harlan Ellison also edited a BEST AMERICAN SS volume... n/m

 

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Response to hermetic (Original post)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 05:37 AM

2. Good Sci-Fi

I think that the best science fiction is also good literary fiction. However I know people like, (cough, cough) my wife who absolutely will not read Sci-fi. When I was in college I was able to satisfy part of my English requirement by taking "Introduction to Science Fiction". Ten books in ten weeks, luckily I had already read most of the selections.

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