Science fiction and literature, the grudge match | Bleader

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Science fiction and literature, the grudge match

Posted By on 01.04.07 at 12:07 PM

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

One of my best high school teachers (a very short list) would have no truck with the science fiction the guys loved to read. The question of whether sci-fi's any good has reemerged in the blogosphere, and even the ultrareactionary Joseph Bottum at First Things is asking it, apropos of another blog discussion in which the commenters simply derided the very idea of literature.

He writes: "I would have preferred to see the discussion begin with the acknowledgement that Homer, Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare, and Goethe produced literature. Now, does any science fiction stand near them?"

OK, OK. But how about we move one rank down? At that level I'll nominate Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle from 1963 and  David Marusek's 1999 novella "The Wedding Album" (not online but in this collection), which is also short enough that it won't take the whole evening.... I'm sure I'm forgetting some folks.

(The books we loved in high school were, at best, by great storytellers like Robert Heinlein, who I'd now put on a level with good genre writers like his approximate contemporary Rex Stout. Brad DeLong and commenters have some interesting thoughts on Starship Troopers — the book, that is.)

Tags: , , ,

Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

More by Harold Henderson

  • The Recyclable House

    The Recyclable House

    If Ken Ortiz has his way, no one in Chicago will ever simply "demolish" a building again.
    • Jul 24, 2008
  • Sympathy for the Devil?

    Sympathy for the Devil?

    Progressive scribe Rick Perlstein made his reputation finding the good in conservatives. Then they really started screwing up the country.
    • Jan 24, 2008
  • Dynamic Flash for Democrats

    Dynamic Flash for Democrats

    Wanna raise funds to run for office? Nag Schwarzenegger about health care? Or just make fun of Bush? Call Articulated Man.
    • Jan 10, 2008
  • More »

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
August 26
Music
Christina Aguilera, Big Boi Chicago Theatre
October 16

Tabbed Event Search

The Bleader Archive

Popular Stories