Tuesday, November 30, 2010

SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY HISTORY MONTH

My dear friends, I am calling on you to help me start a movement. This December, let us take another step in further promoting one of our great loves---Science Fiction and Fantasy. Let us declare December to be SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY HISTORY MONTH.

What? Why does it have to be promoted? you ask. Aren't we inundated with it? Isn't there more genre in film and on television than ever? Isn't the fiction market dominated by genre?

Perhaps, but as lovers of the genre, we owe it to ourselves to promote quality work and to invite the young into our fold ,giving them a perspective and understanding of the traditions and tropes of our literary world. Consider the political and cultural influence of science fiction and fantasy, and how it has helped us vent our angst, voice our identity, and celebrate our optimism.

I think this idea first hit me with a statement from a fan of the Twilight Series who railed against The Wolf Man because the creature depicted wasn't beautiful, like Jacob, and was able to be killed by a single silver bullet. I rolled my eyes, but it occurred to me that for many of the younger audience, this was their first and only exposure to such staples of fantasy as vampires and werewolves[and I include horror in the sci-fi and fantasy realm]. While many will argue fans of Twilight are actually fans of romance more than fantasy, the argument can be made that as people mature and cast about for different fare, they will find a wealth of rich fantastic literature and film, but only if we keep the memory of such work alive.

I worry who will read the work of Robert E. Howard, Joseph Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Donald A. Wollheim, Usula K. LeGuin, Anne Maccaffrey, Arthur C. Clark, Gene Wolf, and JRR Tolkein, Robert Bloch, Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont, Leigh Brackett and their ilk some twenty years forward. The only way to influence the future of literature is to continue to promote the work of the past which we feels best represents that which made science fiction and fantasy such an important part of our culture and identity.

So spread the word, perhaps put a button on your blog..December is Science Fiction and Fantasy History Month.

13 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Good idea. I'll play along.

Taranaich said...

I, for one, approve of this venture.

Draven Ames said...

Have you ever seen the science fiction museum in Seattle? It is amazing. They have books and costumes from all eras. I'm not sure about doing it in December, but I think it is cool. I doubt anyone will forget the classics.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Charles, I will count you as one of the army.

Taranich, I thank you for your approval and hope you'll post a blog in celebration.

Draven, that sounds cool. In Detroit, I'm afraid the closest thing we have to a science fiction museum is a vial collection of spittle located in the basement of a local community college.

Taranaich said...

Most assuredly, Stewart!

Neal Ross Attinson said...

We've never met before I happened across your site, but I'm in. (I see you got my trackback. ;-) )

T. Everett said...

Hello - I came across this post via Taranaich's blog, and also think it's a great idea. I'll definitely be making at least one more post about it, too.

Akasha Savage. said...

Working in a school library as I do, introducing young readers to great writers is my goal. My oldest students may only be eleven years old but they have already 'met' Morlocks, Hobbits & traveled briefly back to 1984.

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Sounds like a plan. I'm in.

Gwendolyn said...

Yes. done and done. :) I apologize in advance for what I know I will be ribbed for. And let me just say that I was a Star Trek fan. But a much bigger dungeons and dragons fan. Great idea, Stewart!

AvDB said...

Absolutely. When I see young Potter and Twilight fans, all I see are potential future fantasy and sci-fi lovers.

Stewart Sternberg said...

AvDB, I like the way you think. Me, too. I was on a panel last year when the Twilight bashing began and made a point of jumping in to defend the phenomenon.

hoosierhysterialm said...

Great idea!

"I rolled my eyes, but it occurred to me that for many of the younger audience, this was their first and only exposure to such staples of fantasy as vampires and werewolves[and I include horror in the sci-fi and fantasy realm]"

This is so true and very sad!