Genre prejudice

Roger Burton West roger at
Wed Jul 16 20:03:09 EDT 2003

On Wed, Jul 16, 2003 at 10:19:05PM +0100, minnow at wrote:
>Literary Fiction is "What?" fiction: "what is the question [x]?".  Genre
>Fiction is "What If?" fiction, in the main: "what if [x] is the question?".
>Really fine-quality fiction (as being more than either of these) might
>called "What Then?" fiction: "Given the question [x] and a solution [y],
>what then follows from that, where do things go thereafter?"


As far as I'm concerned, speculative fiction (as a superclass of science
fiction) is all about consequences: say we have body-swapping, or
bionics, or a faster-than-light drive, or first contact with aliens:
what happens next? I certainly see more of this sort of thing in SF than
I do in other genres. Is your statement intended to be applied less
literally than I am doing?

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