Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What Is Science Fiction Good For?

"Viewed in this light, the science fiction genre appears as neither anomalous nor marginal, but rather as prototypical of imaginative literature, generally. From this perspective, all imaginative literature, including even novels of contemporary realism . . . , can be seen to function, like science fiction, as a kind of thought-experiment in the sense of projecting a world rather than merely modeling a received one. To parody the Russian Formalist critic Viktor Shklovsky, science fiction appears from this perspective to be, not an outlier in the system of genres, but rather the most typical genre of world literature."
—Brian McHale, "What Is Science Fiction Good For?"

From an excellent essay by Brian McHale at the New York Foundation for the Arts website. Alfred Bester, Howard Chaykin, Darko Suvin, Samuel R. Delany, jaunting, the novum, and more.

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