Tuesday, October 14, 2008
SCIENCE FICTION- Neal Stephenson Speaks
Science fiction writer Neal Stephenson gives a talk on the subject of SF as a literary genre (though the actual title, The Fork: Science Fiction versus Mundane Culture, is actually closer to what he actually talks about). His thesis is that, with Romance ubiquitous in film, Mystery (in the form of crime drama) the overwhelming preference on television, and Westerns on the endangered species list, SF is the only genre left. Be warned, Neal isn’t a very good public speaker and his main idea is so full of holes that he has to do all sorts of stretching exercises to make it work. In addition to talking mostly about movies (he mentions only one SF book and that was made into a movie), he also defines SF to include everything from fantasy and horror to The DaVinci Code. The speech is interesting if you are a SF fan or Neal Stephenson fan, but if you are looking for insights into the topic the closest you are going to come is that the “literature of ideas” tends to attract folks who like intelligent characters or that post-structuralist longhairs consider genre fiction a ghetto.