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September 15, 2003
Sturgeon's "To Here and the Easel"
is clearly not really a fantasy STURGEON
And yet, it uses some fantasy tropes,
and it's written by a guy coming out
of the science fiction culture;
whether or not it meets any technical
definition of "science fiction" or
Maybe this kind of thing is the clearest
example of a problem with the usual
attempts at "defining the genre":
What it's really about is
a style of thinking, an (Frederick Pohl said
approach to reality. this a long time ago:
"Science Fiction is
Someone with a true Science Fictional a way of thinking.")
background, can't help showing it when
they write about *anything*:
A scientist hanging out in antarctica.
A guy working on an off-shore oil rig.
A nurse dealing drugs to the ill or the nominally ill;
grappling with the nature of human identity.
The present world is just a veil,
a stepping stone to another place,
and the tree of potential futures
is where we really live.
Or... the maze of critical
abstractions that define
all and yet are not
themselves well defined.
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