Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bad F/SF Waters the Garden of Mockery

So I was at a very nice F/SF meetup here in the City That Never Sleeps, and we were watching a "behind the scenes" doc of Joss Whedon's late, lamented Firefly. And up on the screen, there's an actor whom I've always taken to be an urbane, polished pro. But he seemed to be talking with barely controlled condescension about how he tries to "quarantine" himself from science fiction. (I may have misinterpreted. I hope I did, because this fellow has a good rep.) Anyway, aside from the noblesse oblige that should guarantee that no actor mocks a genre or audience that has written checks for them (you won't catch Dave Tennant doing it) it made me think once again about the levels of quality we demand from our F/SF entertainment.

If we let stuff off the hook, quality-wise, just because it's fantasy or science fiction, then we feed the condescension of folks like the Nameless Actor. Shows like BSG and Firefly and Game of Thrones are the best thing that can happen for fandom - because then all the normals scramble for the goods...and we were here first.

So I encourage all of you - be more demanding in your choice of fiction. If thine epic fantasy offend thee, pluck it out! Or at least don't buy Book II. If you feel that you've shelled out $7.99 for something that reads more like fanwank than high craft, say something.

And contrariwise, always be open and interested in new writers, new voices, new stories. Keep doing that, and as sure as day follows night, you'll find someone who will rock your world, even if you have to sort through a lot of "Fellagon the Dragon"s and "Sword of Something"s to get there.

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