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.