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  1. #31
    Rich L.
    Guest

    Re:A word about genres

    Glen,

    No I don't consider Bradbury the last word in science fiction-- I just don't consider you the last word either.

    I suggest you read Paris in the 20th Century (Verne 1863) which predicts skyscrapers, cities choked with gasoline powered machines and a world-wide communications network. Where did you get the idea that anything written befre Amazing Stories is nothing more than a Utopian morality play?

    By your own narrow definition of sci-fi DUNE is a moraity play, and STAR TREK is just a travelouge.



  2. #32
    Glen T. Brock
    Guest

    Re:A word about genres

    Rich,

    While we are tossing around antiques have a look at Bellamy's LOOKING BACKWARD. There are plenty of examples of precursors to the science fiction genre. Keeping in mind that literature usually reflects the temperment of the society it comes from it shouldn't surprise anyone that prophetic work should come from the midst of the Industrial Revolution.

    With this in mind perhaps you would consider this mandate. The definition of genre is detirmined by the reader's perception of it. If the reader actively seeks stories that contain the POV of the genre that tends to legitimize the trend. After the establishment of AMAZING STORIES in 1926 readers began to identify the genre by name. Before AMAZING readers may identify the work by author but not by subject matter.

    I don't think I'm being too narrow in this view at all. I just don't believe in blanket definitions. Any genre has its precursors and ill defined fringes.

    Glen T. Brock

  3. #33
    Rich L.
    Guest

    Re:A word about genres

    Just looked up nthe definition of genre in both oxord and webster dictionary..funny, I never saw anything approaching your definition.

    Genre is said to exist when someone, or some people see a common a thread in existing work. "Chick lit" was being written long before someone tagged such work with the moniker. But hey, it's a free country. If you want to believe Hugo Gernsback invented science fiction, knock yourself out.

  4. #34
    Glen T. Brock
    Guest

    Re:A word about genres

    Rich L.,

    Hugo Gernsback never invented science fiction. He did invent the word science fiction to describe the genre. That is a historical fact that can be documented readily. Hugo Gernsback started SEXOLOGY magazine also, which popularized that field but he didn't invent sex either. Hugo is dead and I wasn't in the will so I won't knock myself out either.

    When you reexamine what started this rather long discussion it is about speculative fiction and how it relates to science fiction and fantasy. Derivison in describing speculative fiction tends to confuse (or confound)the issue. The common thread you refer to doesn't mean a thing if it is unrecognised. When the customer steps up to the counter and asks "Hey, bud, what kind of new science fiction titles have come in?" defines the genre perfectly.

    Glen T. Brock

  5. #35
    Ryan Bruner
    Guest

    Re:A word about genres

    Glen:

    Hmm. You told us in an earlier thread that Hugo Gernsback invented the genre of science fiction. Now you are saying he DIDN'T.

    The fact is, MOST of what you are saying is NOT science fiction is most definitely science fiction. In fact, I recall an interview with Harlan Ellison (or...perhaps it was just a commentary...) when he spoke about the genre. He was apalled at the fact that so many people considered science fiction merely telling a story focused on some technology, etc. In order to truly be science fiction (in his mind) there needed to be more. That "more" can be found in Shelley's Frankenstein (which, by the way, I have only ever read the book...never seen the movie) as religious allegory dealing with having a soul, etc.

    Based on your last post, it sounds like you are ALMOST to the point of agreeing with us without admitting it. :-)

  6. #36
    Glen T. Brock
    Guest

    Re:A word about genres

    Ryan,

    Nope. In the course of discussion I am refining my remarks. Established historical writting lists Gernsback as the creator of the genre. I concurr. In so much as anyone can be the creator of a genre Gernsback qualifies. I think he identified the genre. That's not the same thing, exactly, I realize.
    We stand on the heads of tens of thousands of ancestors. How can any of us have the audacity of thinking ourselves capable of an origional thought? Or was Descartes right?

    Glen T. Brock

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