Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Navigating Literature

Last night at Wordos we were discussing Hugo nominees and invariably drifted into the "is it science fiction, fantasy, or literature?" realm.  I think the answer to one story is "yes" -- but on the other hand, the science part of some of the stories was pretty soft.   Sort of like if Dracula was a story with blood-sucking creature who could turn into a bat, but it focused more on the marital conflicts of the Harkers.  

In any case, it seems like science fiction and fantasy are picking up more literary bits from magical realism or slipstream.  This confuses the hard science fiction folks, and I'd have to admit, sometimes when I'm reading a story expecting it to be hard science fiction and it veers into literary territory, my initial reaction is to wonder why the author didn't do more research, because [dirigibles, water, computers, whatever] don't really do that.  And then to realize, "Oh, dirigibles are a metaphor for sex--so that's why they look like that in this story" later.

After Wordos I spent about an hour editing a previously critiqued draft at a near-by bar and grill.  I managed to snag the usual post-Wordos table and spread out with a salad and drink and manuscripts.  There's something to be said for having a large round table to use, and I pretended I was an Inkling in a British Pub.  There's a couple of places where folks indicated they were confused by what was happening, and I hope that I've clarified those.
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