The Early Days of a Better Nation

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Voices for audio

There's an increasing number of virtual voices being raised in support of nominating that fine audio SF magazine, StarShipSofa, for a Hugo Award. This is a very good idea.

PS: not least of StarShipSofa's many good points is its links to interesting pieces in print, such as this M. John Harrison review of a newly published lost novel by John Wyndham:
At its worst, science fiction is a kind of rumour mill, in which concepts such as cloning are first reduced to conceits, then ground into triviality by author ­after author; at its best it arranges these conceits into stories that have some emotional or ideological connection to the ordinary world. Wyndham perhaps recognised this, and tried to provide more value in his postwar work: however cosy we find his disaster novels, they are written in a recognisable voice rather than the incompetent burble on display here; set in a recognisable milieu rather than an indifferent parody of a culture ­Wyndham knew nothing about; and hinged on familiar emotional issues rather than a meaning-free reshuffle of plot elements.

Despite its academic interest, Plan for Chaos is an almost unreadable book, and not, as it turns out, related in any way to The Day of the Triffids. Edited by David Ketterer and Andy Sawyer, it comes with an introduction by Christopher Priest, which is a good deal more interesting than the book itself.
What I love about this is how it epitomises the sheer decades-long consistency of Mike Harrison's critique of SF, like John Amalfi's 'slogging brutal tireless heart'. Long may it beat.



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