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[Comments] (5) Nitpick: "Primer really isn't a sci-fi film...what's happening with the characters emotionally is the focus of the film."

Why can't a piece of sci-fi explore peoples' emotional reactions to something that can't happen or has yet to happen? This seems like "it's a graphic novel, dammit!" territory.


Posted by Brendan at Tue Dec 13 2005 07:37

Ugh. The difference is that "it's a graphic novel!" came from within the comics industry, from artists desperate for critical legitimacy (and to some degree, it worked). Kottke's comment comes from outside, from the same critical brainscape that has convinced itself that "if genre then bad; ergo, if good then not genre!" Because science fiction has never had characters before, right?

To quote the fiction editor of the Kenyon Review: "No, it seems like they always have to... do something with the computer... and that's the end."

Posted by Sumana at Tue Dec 13 2005 09:43

I had a similar experience yesterday with a couple of Salon readers. One doesn't like Salon's new blogs. But she likes War Room, our politics blog, so she doesn't consider it a blog. Another agrees with her, accusing Salon's various new blogs of redefining "blog" to fit any topic or content at all. One's head spins. One wishes to expose them to Anacrusis, Kottke, a couple of LiveJournals, some photoblogs, Feministing, and DeLong, and say, "These are all blogs. Yes they are."

Posted by Brendan at Tue Dec 13 2005 10:13

I still haven't answered this to my own satisfaction: is Achewood a blog?

Posted by Leonard at Tue Dec 13 2005 11:20

Point taken. It's this kind of thing that makes science fiction authors have their own "graphic novels" moments. Which I guess has already happened, with "speculative fiction", denigration of the term "sci-fi", etc.

Posted by Andy H. at Tue Dec 13 2005 12:30

'Speculative Fiction' is actually helpful for more than sounding respectable, because it covers several genres; so it's useful if, for example, you want to talk about stories of the fantastic without regard to whether the fantastic therein is justified by our own laws of nature, or to talk about a particular work which hovers at the border between SF and fantasy without taking the time to make an argument that it's one or the other.

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