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View Diary: Sci-Fi Fantasy Club: Which Ugly SF/Fantasy Ducklings became Literary Swans? (140 comments)

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  •  Well-put. (2+ / 0-)
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    Brecht, RiveroftheWest

    Writers like Borges really helped to erase some of the old boundaries between "high" and "low" art (he wrote crime stories, fantasies, fairy tales, and whatever interested him at the time.)  In fact, it's hard for me to think of a post-Borges writer who hasn't at least dabbled in science fiction, even if only at the short story level.

    Yet: there's still the old marketing fear that the science fiction label kills your chances of respectability.  Vonnegut refused to allow his books to be labeled as science fiction (seriously) and more recently, Margaret Atwood made the surprisingly ignorant statement that her sci fi works weren't "really" sci fi because they're about themes and stuff, as if "real" sci fi were written with no regard for content, allegory, or ideas.  So the old snobberies persist.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 10:37:49 AM PDT

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    •  I wish Borges wrote novels; that's what Eco's for, (2+ / 0-)
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      pico, RiveroftheWest

      I guess. Borges took awhile to gain the world stage, but from the '60s on, he's had a growing influence on contemporary writers in many genres.

      Interesting points re. SF vs. respectable. When Vonnegut started, SF was a walled ghetto - he sought, and found, a wider readership. I wonder how much SF Vonnegut and Atwood read.

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 10:39:37 PM PDT

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