Episode 70: Live with Gary K. Wolfe!

After a lot of discussion about buzz and best of the year matters, Gary and I wrench our attention away from such matters and move on to discuss the one true mission of science fiction, the matter of small presses in SF  (a little), and the new new new new new space opera.  As always, we hope you enjoy the podcast!


2 thoughts on “Episode 70: Live with Gary K. Wolfe!”

  1. Re: Paolo Bacigalupi & “spring-powered technology”. It doesn’t seem as if you could get that much fictional mileage out of that – the narrative phase space seems to have been mapped by Jay Lake’s Mainspring, Philip Pullman’s Spring-Heeled Jack and Harry Harrison’s story “Roar of the Cheetah” already – & that’s it for mechanical springpunk. As for biotech springpunk, why write about something that does already exist in the real world without further optimization options? (Those bionic entities are usually known as “kangaroos”.)
    “FTL as useless”: see George R.R. Martin, “FTA” (1974, and in Analog, about 3 pp long); Lem wrote exactly one “Ion Tichy” story about a UFO turning out to be a false alarm. This narrative strategy is akin to the stand-up comedian failing to deliver a punchline: you do it once in your career, no more. Just imagine The X-Files if it consisted only of wild goose chases; all horror fiction in the Ann Radcliffe mode. No: once the author has committed him-/herself to “The Other” as a possibility, it has to turn into an actuality – to do otherwise is to break the implicit pact with the reader.

  2. “Look, there’s Stan over in his corner, still running all those engineering stories I don’t care to read. On another note, how come no one’s writing engineering stories anymore? Science fiction isn’t doing what it used to do.”

    My guess is that science fiction is still doing what it’s always done and inspiring the scientists and engineers with whom we hardly converse. Science fiction still exists, but the types of people who enjoy this podcast don’t read much of it anymore. We left it behind and wish our new spouse would do the same things that our ex used to do.

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