Saturday, August 12, 2006

Good Question

SF Signal: Is SF Too Geeky?

Dave Itzkoff, SF reviewer for The New York Times, recently listed his favorite SF books. But he is also making waves with some comments about the SF genre he makes in his review of David Marusek's Counting Heads. "HERE'S a question I don't expect to come anywhere close to answering by the end of this column: Why does contemporary science fiction have to be so geeky?"

Cause it always has been. Sheesh when I went to school the geeks wore glasses, pocket protectors and carried slide rulers to the daily chess club meeting. And they read sci-fi. I know I was one.

The Writers

Having Isaac Asimov at a Star Trek convention might seem odd. After all, Asimov may have been one of the grand old men of SF but he had no connection to the series at all. (He acted as a technical advisor to Space: 1999 around this time, which to True Believers was another strike against him.) On the other hand, he was local, he was willing and he was a hero to those of us who had discovered science fiction (and nonfiction) long before the Enterprise ever left dry dock. Best of all Asimov was one of the nicest people I've ever met, the kind of person who'd sit and sign autographs and trade jokes with the fans for hours on end. He was like that lovable uncle you always wanted but few of us get. (Apologies in advance to my uncles should they ever read this comment. You're wonderful and all but you're no Isaac Asimov!)

Harlan Ellison was once the angry young man of SF, the writer who had the nerve to write a script about drug dealing on the Enterprise called The City On The Edge Of Forever. Ellison had a reputation, probably deserved, of being touchy and unapproachable at conventions. Which is funny, because the few times I've met him I have found him exactly the opposite. He even agreed to pose with a friend of mine for a picture, which sadly didn't turn out. And whatever else you think about him, the man can surely write.

Also See:

Science Fiction

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