Mark Sachs (ksleet) wrote,
Mark Sachs

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I may not make an honest living, but I'm 100% American!

Just so it doesn't seem to be a big mystery an' all, the book I was referring to two entries down was John Varley's Red Lightning. It's not a very good book for an impressive variety of reasons, but that whole "meh, who cares who dropped the spaceship on us" vibe it gave me was what stuck in my craw the most. However, most of you reacted with bewilderment to my suggestion that I'd been seeing this theme in SF a lot, so perhaps I'm a bit oversensitive and seeing it where it doesn't exist. Have to sleep on that one... that kind of attitude does kind of press my buttons, but it's a little tricky to articulate why exactly.

But while we're on the subject of this book, I do think that we've established that attempts to revive the Heinlein juvenile* are really hopeless at this point. For better or worse it's an obsolete genre and we just have to move on.

* Robert A. Heinlein wrote many popular young-adult science fiction novels such as Have Spacesuit, Will Travel and Podkayne of Mars that are fondly remembered by SF fans who read them when they were kids. Some of those fans-turned-authors have been attempting to re-bottle the lightning from time to time, always with embarrassing results. Their fundamental problem is that "We should write science fiction books that appeal to teenagers" is a great idea, but writing them to appeal to teenagers from 1958 is kind of missing the point.
Tags: media, nerd
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