marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

Do we want literary SF?

Do You Really Want Science Fiction Books To Be More Literary?

Two of the aspects mentioned -- interrelate.  Fancy word play and suburban malaise go together because if your reader already knows what the setting and the characters are, he knows what the fancy word play decodes to.  If the reader doesn't know, you have to be more clear.

If a literary writer writes, "Two moons hung by the horizon," we know the character is seeing double.  If a SF writer writes the same thing, we know that the character's on a world with at least two but probably more moons (probably more because with only two, "Both moons" would be hanging there), or something has happened to Earth's Moon, or Earth has acquired at least one more moon, probably two -- or the character's seeing double.  You need more clues, which gets in the way of word play.

Tags: genre: science fiction, style, web articles, writing

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