Over at Castalia house there is an interesting essay called The Wrong Corpse and the Highbrow Coroner that is taking an Atlantic article to task for declaring science fiction dead again. Science fiction isn’t dead and isn’t likely to die any time soon, but that doesn’t seem to stop the prognosticators from trying to turn their wish fulfillment fantasy into prophecy. Give it a read …
Noah Berlatsky at the Atlantic declares science fiction dead of terminal nostalgia:
Poor George Orwell wants his panopticon back.
He also quotes an important fresh voice* in science fiction that:
“we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope.”
Then he spends the rest of the article writing about Marvel comic books and their related movies.
The thesis, that science fiction has lost its way in a retrospective swamp of camp nostalgia for Star Wars, Star Trek and comic books is a bait-and-switch, however:
Science fiction is everywhere in popular culture, and it seems like it’s managed to be everywhere in the present by largely jettisoning the future. [emphasis added]
Berlatsky has switched terms on the reader. He isn’t talking about science fiction as a genre, he’s complaining about pop culture, as if that has anything to do with the core idea factory of science fiction, which, and always has been, books.
It does not.