10 June 2006

Dave Itzkoff Ponders His Inner Child

I had a fairly negative reaction to Dave Itzkoff's first science fiction column at the New York Times, but I'm more impressed by his second, particularly because he praises Christopher Rowe's marvelous story "The Voluntary State" and Benjamin Rosenbaum's fine story "Embracing-the-New". Such praise shows taste and thoughtfulness. I also thought Itzkoff's ideas about nostalgia within science fiction are astute, though I am far more wary of nostalgia than he.

I have one major concern with the column, however, and that is Itzkoff's bizarre decision to undermine his credibility by quoting an "online critic". Doesn't he realize he's writing for one of the great newspapers of the world? Why does he stoop to giving credibility to some yahoo with a blog? Itzkoff is a good and clearly intelligent writer, but such a tremendous lapse of judgment within an otherwise interesting column may be a sign not simply of an undigested inner child, but of impending psychosis.