Episode 167: On Hild, History, Genre and WFC

This week our two commentators, emerging from the pall of jetlag and the reality of impending deadlines, turn their attentions to what is intrinsic to science fiction as a genre, what SF & fantasy has in common with historical fiction, the terrible burden of having to read lots of books, and Nicola Griffith’s acclaimed sixth novel Hild. 

There is also, towards the end of the episode, a brief discussion of issues related to this year’s World Fantasy Convention, which are outlined in greater depth and with more intelligence over at Cheryl Morgan’s blog.

We also want to remind listeners that we will be going on hiatus for four weeks, starting 14 December 2013 and returning 18 January 2014.

As always, we hope you enjoy the episode.

5 thoughts on “Episode 167: On Hild, History, Genre and WFC”

  1. Slight point of irritation: Did John Clute coin the term “fantastika” when the word has been used in Eastern Europe long before he ever did?

  2. We may well be in error here, and if there is an error here it is ours. John is usually very careful about crediting the sources and influences for his work. And I can readily imagine that you’re correct about the term originating and being used in Eastern Europe. That said, John has played a significant role in attempting to popularise and increase the use of the term in genre criticism over the paper decade.

  3. “fantastika” used in Russian speaking nations for decades.

    Clute’s (comparatively recent) usage seems to replace ‘speculative fiction’ as defined in his own 1990 SF Encyclopaedia, in which speculative fiction covers both SF and fantasy. (Yes, there is another definition too but this is the one that seems to have traction.)

  4. Fantastika is a term I took in 2007 or earlier, as variously acknowledged here and there, from common Continental usage. It is also the name of a magazine, Fantastyka. I ‘m usually pretty secure about when I happen to be making up a word (the term edisonade was a deliberate coinage, for instance), and never though fantastika would be mistaken for a neologism, so wasn’t maybe careful enough to make it all clear. (One of the places I give a brief provenance is p53 of PARDON THIS INTRUSION: FANTASTIKA IN THE WORLD STORM. There are other references here and there.) I do use my own particular slant on the term when I say I prefer to use it to describe the literature of the fantastic after around the turn of the 18th century, when it begins to know it’s something new.

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