Science Fiction Repair Shop: Dream Off Dept.


Has Russell Banks ever actually read any fantasy? Evidently not:

Russell Banks - By the Book - NYTimes.com

Q: ... how would you describe the kinds of books you steer clear of?

A: Anything described by the author or publisher as fantasy, which to me says, “Don’t worry, Reader, Death will be absent here.” In his brief introduction to “Slow Learner,” Thomas Pynchon says he takes serious writing to be that in which Death is present. I agree.

Purchase on AmazonI guess the likes of, oh, Mervyn Peake haven't contaminated his bedside table, then?

It always strikes me how readily people assume "serious" writing automatically excludes writing that performs no speculation about life — or death, for that matter. Or, rather, that the absence of such speculation automatically negates the possibility of the work being serious.

Some of this I blame on the easy association of SF&F with so much lowbrow claptrap, but since when is that an excuse for any avowed literati to not do their own homework? And just so you don't think I'm pandering, I'd say it cuts the other way, too: that there's plenty of literary work that isn't all moping and navel-gazing, or the mere confirmation of cultural prejudice.


Tags: Russell Banks Science Fiction Repair Shop fantasy science fiction


comments powered by Disqus

About This Page

This page contains a single entry by Serdar Yegulalp in the category Science Fiction Repair Shop, published on 2014/01/03 10:00.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

About Me

I'm an independent SF and fantasy author, technology journalist, and freelance contemplator for how SF can be made into something more than just a way to blow stuff up.

My Goodreads author profile.

Learn some more about me.

My Books

Out Now

Coming Soon

Previously Released

More about my books

Search This Site

Archives