Which may be another reason why SF readers consider themselves "better." When one feels outnumbered, there's a tendency to cling to a self-perception of being a member of an elite, discriminating group.I mean, I could have told him three years ago the fantasy market was much bigger than the SF market.
I was always rather puzzled about Dune getting included in examples of hard SF as well, and about its not being accused more often of being a fantasy novel set in space (the basic plot would work just fine in a traditional swords and sorcery style world, I think). I think the gender of a speculative fiction book's author has a definite effect on how it is categorized.
The whole dichotomy between hard and soft SF and the idea that the former is "better" than the latter also baffles me.
And that may have been part of what was feeding Spinrad, but mostly he seemed sort of oddly annoyed that fantasy had spilled into his SF. Which I honestly didn't know was a thing that pissed people off.
All fiction is fantasy.
Non-fiction doubly so.
Funny article. Most people don't seem to care either way, but I've known a few who thought SF needed a high concept to be considered SF. What's the Spinrad thing? I don't really keep up with drama.
Remember when "new Coke" was the doom of Western civilization?
I mean...did you try New Coke?
New Coke, however, was a diabolical plot against western civilization.
What I've run into, which I find discouraging for the field and personally, is SF advocates who insist that anything that isn't absolutely provably possible according to our current science is fantasy. So, for example, anything with FTL travel of any kind is actually fantasy.
It may also be worth noting, for those that don't know, that Tor's snark about a starship powered by orgasm is a reference to a novella called The Void Captain's Tale, written by Spinrad himself.
Heh. Used to be FTL just meant you weren't writing "hard" SF.
there’s forty gazillion novels published every year, I don’t have time or money to read more than a few dozen, and I’d like some way to try to quickly winnow out the ones I’m likely to like.
To me, it's Scifi if the MC questions the world; Fantasy if they just sort of go along with it; and Horror if they are, well, horrified by it.