Monday, June 06, 2005

Turn-About Is Fair-Play

Posted by Trent Walters at 4:33 PM
I got no end of ribbing this weekend about Mundane SF this weekend (online and off), so here are a few of mine:

The cartoon-version of the Anti-Mundanes (courtesy of one of the best cartoons running these days, Non-Sequitur).

Hal Duncan's biting satire of the Anti-Mundanes (you--maybe he--thought he was mocking the Mundanes? Au contraire).

S.M. Stirling finds life without starships and light-sabres unendurable. He visits the mailbox in a Cylon suit. (I'm just joking. He's valiantly defending his right to space operas and such, which is fine by me.)


Anonymous ianmcdonald said...

nice to see a bit more traffic through the site. Did the trick, didn't it? Infernokrusher? Pah! I 'm from Belfast. We eat these things with salt.

6/09/2005 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger Trent said...

It is much more steady--thanks! But it also depends on my regular postings. I'm curious to hear reactions to an upcoming post on evolution and accepted genre tropes.

6/10/2005 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger S.M. Stirling said...

And re the "S.M. Stirling" defends light sabers and spaceships, I'd thank you not to grossly and tendentiously misrepresent what I say.

6/11/2005 02:53:00 AM  
Blogger Hal Duncan said...

Ian: Belfast? Pah! I'm from Glasgow. We eat everything with salt. Deep-fried.

Trent: Hope you took that blog entry in good humour... as ribbing rather than mockery. To be serious (for once) I don't know if I'd characterise Infernokrusher as "Anti-Mundane", it being a rebranding (ssssss, "MooOO!") of "slipstream" rather than anything to do with Hard SF whatsoever. Way I read the Mundane Manifesto, it's about tightening the focus of SF, rejecting the escapist balderdash and bringing it back to basics -- plausible scientific speculations and their extrapolated impact on humanity. Yes? A laudably rigorous approach to SF-as-Science-Fiction.

Slipstream -- sorry, Infernokrusher -- is a whole 'nother creature, as I see it, equally concerned with focusing on humanity, but more interested in extended metaphor than extrapolated scenario as a means to that end. SF-as-Structural-Fabulation. An entirely different fictive mode.

But as for them tired old cliches? Fuck it; if ye've read my rants on SF-as-Symbolic-Formulation (regurgitating the same old tropes, "unquestioned and unjustified"), you know I'm all for "burning the Stupidities". I think you guys don't dig down quite deep enough to attack the core "Stupidities", which are structural, as I see it, to do with the Romance form itself (all that juvenile heroic power fantasy bollocks, you know), rather than the surface-level use of magic science McGuffins (which are just symptomatic, I'd say, of the deeper escapist purpose of the narrative); but if by Anti-Mundane you're talking about what I'd call Symbolic Formulation, then yes, that's as much my target as it is yours.

The key difference between Mundane and Slip- *ahem* Infernokrusher, for me, is just that I rejoice in chucking the "Rationalities" on the bonfire alongside them. And then driving over them with a monster truck. The irruption of the irrational into the... uh... mundane is a core component of infernokrusher. So I couldn't resist that big solid wall of Mundane-SF with its firm foundations and edifice looking so solemn. Forgive me. I like fire.

6/11/2005 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger S.M. Stirling said...

What I'm actually doing is full-frontal denial of the legitimacy of your attempts to define the universe of discourse before the discussion starts.

The "we represent sane, realistic SF with positive consequences" bit; which is of course an attempt to get the other side to reflexively defend "fantasy SF", thus playing the game on your turf.

Sorry, no-no-no, not going to happen.

6/12/2005 09:04:00 PM  
Blogger Trent said...

I like your comments, Hal (I tried to point out one in the s1ngularity blog, but the comments always seemed down).

I was responding more to the response to your blog than to the entry itself. I fear some feel we're treading on their belief system (i.e. Zen or postmodern philosophy or Christianity that focuses on the mysteries), which I do not feel we are. I believe in possibilities, but our focus is on the probabilities.

I hear lots of raves about your forthcoming novel--and it isn't even out yet. I look forward to seeing it.

6/14/2005 05:33:00 PM  
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