Kellemora wrote:I was doing OK ghost writing teen romance, however, those writing sci-fi were being paid more than triple for almost anything they turned in. Even then, a heck of a lot got edited out and changed, but most found their way onto the bookshelves.
One heckuva "fringe genre," isn't it? It was well received, and there were many acclaimed authors who wrote classics at that time, and even before, practically from the heyday of Jules Verne forward. In spite of the opinion of the pooh-poohers, looking down their nose at anything that isn't in "classical" form and on "classical" subjects, the majority of readers want their curiosity piqued and their imaginations challenged.
What the classical purists fail to realize is that, while the classics survive the ravages of time and period due to the quality of their content, they eventually become mere curiosities--a window into a period of time long past. They are soon joined, and eventually displaced, by more contemporary works, accompanied by a great wailing and gnashing of teeth by the purists.
"How can this be considered a classic? Look around you; everything the author wrote is common, concerning common, everyday occurrences."
This said, all the while ignoring the fact that much of the background information in "Around The World In 80 Days," was common in Verne's day, and while we're at it, as was much in Shakespeare's writings. I'm sure Shakespeare had his contemporary detractors, or would have were his works widely distributed. Most of what he wrote would be quite common in the early 1600's, and his works could easily be considered a "soap opera of kings and queens" by his contemporaries, not classics at all!
Much of Verne's and Heinlein's work has now been relegated into the lofty realm of "classic science fiction" now, read as part of a respectable library of "have reads" for Science Fiction aficionados. There are even college courses
on some of the SF Classics (scroll down a bit and you'll find the SF section). Many of the authors listed wrote the novels and series around the period under discussion; that the purists refused to recognize their legitimacy changes nothing.
I think PKD's world outlook was too focused. That can be good in some ways, but bad in others. It gives one a distorted view of the surrounding world, which can be beneficial in generating an "alternate world," which was PKD's forte, but at the same time, it can cause one to react inappropriately when forced to interact with RL, and the real people that inhabit it.
Enough of my pontifications. Suffice it to say that, while I respect his preeminent abilities, I disagree with some of his premises. Indeed, he was prescient in some of the scenarios he developed, as demonstrated by close parallels in contemporary life, but his views on Science Fiction as a fringe genre leaves me a bit tepid and wont to debate.
Kellemora wrote:...in a nutshell, he more or less explained the many things writers of science fiction should avoid, to keep from being scrutinized by the government.
I came away from that event feeling that the government knew of many things that if we spoke about them, in any form, we would be looking for trouble.
I sometimes wonder about that, myself, considering that I propose presenting a form of government different from existing forms and the situations and conditions from which they arose. A bit will concern it directly, though completely fictional.
We have become a paranoid society, with even more paranoid leadership, one in which even the slightest misspoken word can draw the scrutiny of those who "protect" us (I still wonder who will protect us from our protectors). Such scrutiny can lead to serious consequences, from being required to "prove your innocence" to...well, it goes downhill from there!
It's a sad state of affairs, but there it is, and we're ensconced in the middle of it. All one can do is protect oneself as best as possible, trembling internally and in a constant state of quiet trepidation.