19 August 2003

What's This Mad Universe?

I've created this weblog to keep track of my reading in and thoughts about the world of speculative fiction.

I'm not a big fan of definitions, and I have little patience for arguments about whether a particular work is "science fiction" rather than "fantasy" rather than "horror" rather than "slipstream". I will, in general, use the term SF here, because it doesn't lump writings and authors into little ghettoes, other than the general ghetto of what has been called "weird fiction" or "fabulist fiction" or, one of my favorites, "philosophical romance". I like the last term because it situates writing within a general literary category and doesn't marginalize it (too much) within the world of "mainstream" fiction (aka "literary fiction" aka "mundane" [as in mundus] fiction). I do think there is a distinction between works where anything and everything could possibly happen, where worlds are built and destroyed and characters may or may not have unusual powers and proclivities, and works which deliberately stick to the laws and customs of the "real world". But SF to me includes not only writings published by genre publishers, but also writers such as Samuel Beckett and Ama Ata Aidoo.

Hence, the works discussed on this site will be eclectic. I will try to record thoughts on whatever I happen to be reading which seems to be SF of some sort to me, and I will offer occasional thoughts and rants about various issues regarding those readings, as well as thoughts on news and miscellaneous items which seem relevant. Who knows what will come of all this?

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