And here I have always thought good sci-fi was literature!
I am somewhat bemused by the way ‘literature’ is so often assumed to be a superior form of writing, above any form of genre fiction and, particularly, science fiction (‘ptooey’). Authors known for ‘literature’ are, apparently, more talented, competent and intelligent than ‘sci fi’ authors, who by definition are hacks, talentless and ignorant of basic writing skills and higher human truths.
It’s a funny attitude: I’d argue that the best science fiction (‘ptooey’) is easily as well-written as ‘literature’, with as much character depth and quality of styling as the material upheld by the literati. In the mid-twentieth century, before sci-fi was socially cool for the majority, Robert A. Heinlein’s writing was arguably as good as Steinbeck’s when it came to stylistic competence, social message, characterisation and plot, among other things. As always, the sci-fi setting was merely backdrop to a human story which, naturally, had…
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