Links for 29-07-2008

Plot 101; worldbuilding 102; WordPress gubbins …

2 thoughts on “Links for 29-07-2008”

  1. World-building is the art of choosing genre conventions which fit the story. And without which the story could not take place. That’s the important bit – no convention(s), no story. If the plot still works without the genre trappings, it’s not science fiction. It’s a western in space. Or a WWII story in space. Or the Napoleonic Wars in space. Or…

    I don’t understand what he is arguing. Apart from anything else, he argues as if these conventions emerged fully formed. They did not and they continue to be subject to refreshment, argument and subversion. Furthermore, there are many stories which completely lack the conventions as well as the trappings and still feel like sf. There are many other stories which use the conventions as well as the trappings and which don’t feel like sf. Sf is an *attitude*.

  2. If my ramble read as though I believe all conventions sprang fully formed when Gernsback first published Amazing Stories, then I should have written it more clearly. I agree that conventions have been created and have evolved throughout sf’s lifetime to date. But slowly.

    I suppose my point is that the conventions are the building-blocks of sf stories, and that too much sf relies over-much on tried and tested conventions. In fact, there’s an entire sub-genre which does so – military sf.

    I don’t see sf as an attitude. One aspect of it is communal – which is why some sf is not seen as sf. And vice versa.

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