RIP gSF, yet again


There is, of course, a tradition within gSF to lament the sorry state of affairs ‘these days,’ and wonder if science fiction is in terminal decline.  Kemp went so far as to conduct a postmortem in 1960, collecting responses from a number of gSF authors and other intelligentsia to questions like “Is it dead,” and “Who’s responsible?”  The entire fanzine, as well as some follow-ups Kemp conducted, are on line HERE.  Wonderful read … especially Marion Zimmer Bradley’s answers!

(Incidentally, others approached the question with different strategies.  For example, there’s the old phrase [variously attributed, but Hartwell’s essay routinely cited] “The Golden Age of science fiction is twelve” — that is, it’s not that gSF is in decline from a golden era, but that one inevitably prefers whatever one first encountered when one was twelve years of age.  Personally, I argue [HERE and in the forthcoming book] that “science fiction” has an indefinite history, and is unlikely to ever end … but the genre form, as a textual tradition distinct from the mainstream, may no longer be viable.)


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