SF in Conversation

Speculative Fiction in Conversation: Epilogue

SF in Conversation: Epilogue

This is the final part of an email conversation I had with Matt Cheney about the state of Speculative Fiction. Read part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 and part 5.

Speculative Fiction in Conversation Part 5

This is part 5 of an email conversation I had with Matt Cheney about the state of Speculative Fiction. Read part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4. Some things discussed: the dark heart of aesthetics, zombie movies, literary greatness and William Shakespeare.

Speculative Fiction in Conversation Part 4

This is part 4 of an email conversation I had with Matt Cheney about the state of Speculative Fiction. Read part 1 and part 2 and part 3. Some things discussed: the object-subject relationship, zombie movies, the evaluation of art, Star Trek as godawful crap vs. fun godawful crap

Speculative Fiction in Conversation Part 3

This is part 3 of an email conversation I had with Matt Cheney about the state of Speculative Fiction. Read part 1 and part 2. Some things discussed: Delany and transgression; anthologies; sf writers vs. literary writers; frames, objects and subjects; Roberto Bolaño.

Speculative Fiction in Conversation Part 2

This is part 2 of an email conversation I had with Matt Cheney about the state of Speculative Fiction. Read Part 1 Here.

Speculative Fiction in Conversation Part 1

In November, I posted a blog entry about James Gunn's essay on protocols and ways of reading in science fiction, a concept he drew from the essay collection Starboard Wine by Samual R. Delany. While I was critical of Gunn's post, the concepts discussed made me realize that there might be a lot of SF criticism out there that I had never read and never even heard of. After a little Google searching, I discovered that the Delany book was out of print and difficult to find, however an earlier collection, The Jewel-Hinged Jaw, had a forthcoming reissue with an introduction by my own friend Matt Cheney, who was trying to get the other book back into print as well. Matt is also the author of the blog Mumpsimus, a number of fine short stories, is the series editor of The Best American Fantasy, and is an English teacher who's known to sneak speculative fiction into the curriculum. It seemed natural that I would turn to him to fill in the gaps in my own SF education. What follows is part 1 of the email conversation that resulted, which moves from criticism to the history of SF and the ongoing debate about SF's place in the literary world, and whether protocols really exist at all.