it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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and if it's all for nothing, all the roadrunning's been in vain.

Hal Duncan, still the man.

All this is to say (because apparently it needs to be said... again and again) that the science/magic distinction between SF and Fantasy is superficial, as superficial a signal as the colour of the foil in which the writer's name is embossed on the cover. The shared dislocatory effect which underpins all parallel / future / metaphysical narratives unifies all the disparate sub-genrefied forms into a single field. This is, I think, the nearest we will find to the sonnet's "fourteen lines and a volte". There are (other) negotiable conventions as to how that dislocatory effect is dealt with, which generate different forms -- just as the sonnet has its Spenserian or Shakespearean structures -- but underneath there is (only?) that.

I also really liked this paragraph:

I think the mainstream of strange fiction is often work which involves dislocation in multiple dimensions. Most commonly, as in Bester or Dick, you have hypotheticals and metaphysicals side-by-side, but it could be any combination of all three. And the same goes for the treatments of the conceit. In reusing known tropes we partially excuse them with conventionality, but often we also offer (hand-waving) explanations which bolster an illusion of plausibility. And at the same time we fuck around with those tropes. We find new twists which restore some of the strangeness, make us see them again as novum; so we are also exploiting them. Neither direction of dislocation nor technique of resolution are mutually exclusive.
Tags: what he said, writing craft wank
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