The London Circle, it should be noted, has no connection with the BSFA other than the mutual interest in sfish affairs; yet I feel that news of London must be of interest to fandom at large.
Many good sf stories are often found to be on the borderline. Sometimes the author’s attempt to impart a touch of sf to his story is the only bad thing about it. Thus Aldiss’s ‘stock’ ending to his piece in the 150th issue merely inspired a yawn [...] This is not an abnegation of sf, but it does illustrate the advantages that an express ‘anything goes’ policy would bring, i.e., exclusion of too much overt ‘sf-ish’ gadgetry and writing.
But what would happen if you began encompassing the scope of creative art? Articles, say, on Herman Hesse... on the Science Fiction album that the Jefferson Airplane is working on now... an interview with Frank Zappa, discussing his contemplated wildly SFish movie, discussing his roots in SF (he has them; Sheckley, and Cordwainer Smith are two influences he has named).
The science column was excellent. Perhaps you could have a Niven/Pournelle team article about one out of four issues. It could be used for articles about more sf-ish concepts; space drives, things like Bigger Than Worlds that Niven had in Analog some time back.
In our treatment of authors (most of them writing after WWII) who make occasional use of sf devices…to propel plots set in an undated near future, we have been highly selective, for most of these books…do not reward any attempt to incorporate them as sf or sf-ish, though we have given entries to a few (e.g., Ian Fleming).
This is just the world according to Ray Vukcevich, sf-ish enough to get him into the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and Asimov’s but also resembling the fantastic milieus of Gogol, Kafka, and Looney Toons.
At one end of the scale would be unquestioned SF titles like[…]Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series. At the other end would be….oh, I don't know, what's the least SF-ish book ever published? The Toledo, Ohio phone book?
Last modified 2021-10-28 19:41:15
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.