Last December, I wrote a poorly-argued post about the trouble with modern science fiction. Almost immediately, someone viciously cut me down, and I put up a rather pathetic defense against it. Well, it seems the universe has a sense of irony, because only a few months after I wrote that post, I found myself in my local book shop, where I stumbled upon a hefty tome with the horrific title “Extreme Science Fiction.”
Now, that was almost enough to make me put it down, but I didn’t. I turned it over and read the back of the jacket, and I was intrigued by the premise of the book: it was intended as a collection of inventive, mind-bending science fiction from (mostly) modern authors, edited by Mike Ashley.
And by the time I’d finished reading it, I knew that all those complaints I’d made about the state of modern science fiction were completely idiotic. Everything I’d said was wrong with SF today — the lack of originality, the lack of experimentation, fear of pushing boundaries, and the rest — was rectified by the stories in that single volume.
This is not really meant as a book review, though. Instead, this is a humbled retraction of all the rubbish I said before. I have to admit, I was wrong: good science fiction really isn’t dead.