Science Fiction

I never fully understood [the label of 'escapist'] till my friend Professor Tolkien asked me the very simple question, 'What class of men would you expect to be most preoccupied with, and most hostile to, the idea of escape?' and gave the obvious answer: jailers.

-- C. S. Lewis, "On Science Fiction"

If science fiction is exploring how technology affects people's lives, then one of the best SF movies ever made was Singin' in the Rain

-- David E. Romm

Defining what SF is (distinguishing it both from fantasy, and from mainstream techno-thrillers) is a favorite pasttime for many. Some have very definite views, although Margaret Atwood is less certain: she can't decide if the definition is " talking squids in outer space " or " talking cabbages ". I'm going to sidestep the issue. But if you are interested, here are some others' definitions of SF (somewhat more cogent than Atwood's), plus further links.

[SF books]
SF books
I read science fiction because it's not about the mundane, ordinary problems that we face every day. I read science fiction because I want to argue humanity's case before a galactic tribunal. I read science fiction because I want to battle hideous creatures beneath the hurtling moons of Barsoom. I read science fiction because I want to go on a covert mission inside the city of the alien beings who hold humanity in thrall. I read science fiction because, well, hexapodia is the key insight.

-- Pete McCutchen, rec.arts.sf.written, October 2000

"I will not turn into a snake. It never helps."
I get a bit tired sometimes of just how easily the baddies are defeated. I wish more authors would take the advice in Peter's Evil Overlord List. And there's an equal-opportunity Evil Empress page, too! ( collects these, and also includes similar good advice for Heros, Sidekicks, Evil Henchmen, True Loves, Innovcent Bystanders, and more.)

SF films and TV

[Locus 79]
SF magazines
[Locus 96]

I insist on living in a world where the word 'feminist' is as quaint as the word 'suffragette'.

-- Pat Cadigan, The Net BBC2, 8 June 1994

SF Conventions



My notes on some cons that I have attended
(view locations in a larger map).

Does anybody know if Harlan Ellison will include Alexi Panshin's essay on Heinlein's views on gun control in The Last Dangerous Visions?

-- Michael F. Stemper, 1999
(contributed to a discussion of the ultimate rasfw troll)

I'd just like to say how charming I find it to see a serious and passionately felt discussion of Romeo and Juliet on rec.arts.sf.written under the thread title 'sex and violence'. It really makes my day.

-- Jo Walton

in more depth...