[spelling pronunciation of sci-fi]
Not only did it [sc. a magazine cover] have rayguns and a spacey looking ship, but the maiden was scantily clad (in all the right places!) and the man was big and muscular, complete with ripples and throbbing veins. Hot jets! Now that, dear sirs, is skiffy.
The science fiction reader sneers at fake SF, artificially produced film tie-in novels and stories, most SF films, most TV SF. This he calls sci-fi (or ‘skiffy’)—junk no right-thinking omnivore or chronic should read, watch, or support.
Many of the best new writers seem openly ashamed of their backward Skiffy nationality.
We could call this kind of fiction Novels of Postmodern Sensibility, but that looks pretty bad on a category rack, and requires an acronym besides; so for the sake of convenience and argument, we will call these books ‘slipstream.’ ‘Slipstream’ is not all that catchy a term, and if this young genre ever becomes an actual category I doubt it will use that name, which I just coined along with my friend Richard Dorsett. ‘Slipstream’ is a parody of ‘mainstream’, and nobody calls mainstream ‘mainstream’ except for us skiffy trolls.
Skiffy is colourful, sometimes entertaining, junk sf: Star Wars is skiffy.
Donovan, you don’t have a problem with money. I'm sure what you've had so far has seemed like a lot. But we want to do more with your book. I've been taken off the skiffy-occult-horror side where your MS arrived on my desk by accident. They want me to start a new list. ‘New Heretics,’ it’s gonna be called, with Secret Life’s paperback launch as its big splash.
It is nothing more than a parody of The Foundation Trilogy—possibly mixed with references to the Lensman stories, some recent stuff by Walter Jon Williams, and half a dozen other pieces of skiffy you vaguely remember reading.
Alternate Skiffy, ed. by Mike Resnick & Patrick Nielsen Hayden.
Dr. Linebarger had to be respectable and responsible and had to guard his tongue. Cordwainer Smith wrote skiffy and babbled whatever he pleased.
Meanwhile someone has decided that the award-nominated cover design, with its striking NASA/JPL Jupiter photograph, was not skiffy enough. Therefore, stars have been added. Stars which shine straight through that gas-giant planet and its moon. Really science-fictional stars.
Last modified 2021-01-06 21:13:48
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.