Now that Niall Harrison has completed his multi-million pound international transfer from Vector to Strange Horizons, last Friday’s linkdump at Torque Control was probably the last. This leaves a gap in the market for an intelligent round-up of the best links from across the genre blogosphere (as opposed to the scattergun approach that is all too common). One thing is certain: I won’t be stepping into the breach. However, a few things have caught my eye recently.
Lavie Tidhar launches a new – and in no way tongue in cheek – Science Fiction Dictionary of New Criticism:
Dystopalyptic n. Condition afflicting many authors, leaving them unable to imagine or create an actual working future.
Uses: mainstream writers turning to SF are uniformly dystopalyptic.
Adam Roberts crunches the Booker:
1. The Booker has tracked a shift in taste away from domestic UK fiction and towards a more globalised, multicultural and postcolonial writing. (In the first two decades of the prize about 80% of winners were by UK writers; in the second two decades only 40%)
2. Women do slightly better in the Booker than in publishing as a whole.
3. The Booker is not hospitable to genre—or to put it another way: the Booker is a genre prize—the genre in question being ‘twentieth-century/contemporary literary fiction’.
Patrick Hudson reviews Red Plenty by Francis Spufford:
Marx wasn’t the only one hard at work on this type of utopian politics. The same kinds of rationalist and scientific theories led to all kinds of inventive ideas, from theospophy and Kibbo Kift to the fascism of 1930s Europe. At the same time as this type of millenarian thinking developed, a fiction of this type of imagining began to emerge. SF and Communism were born more or less at the same time – Marx in London, Jules Verne in France – and both had their apogee in the middle of the 20th century. The Golden Age of SF is close to the age of revolution – about 1920 to the end of World War Two.
Jared Pornokitsch reviews The Way Of Kings by Brandon Sanderson:
High fantasy has recently made great strides in storytelling, but there is still much that can be improved qualitatively. Mr. Sanderson has inadvertently exposed many of fantasy’s persistent flaws. The Way of Kings allows us to look past the debate between world-building and character development and take a broader, more critical view of where fantasy stands. Mr. Sanderson has clearly mastered the genre as it is today, and, if he chooses to, would be well-placed to carry its banner forward into the future.