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Neal Stephenson: Science Fiction as a Literary Genre

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Basho Avatar
Posted: 06.20.09, 08:36 AM
The best example of the Bifurcated career is Alec Guinness, his performance as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars movies made him more rich and more famous than his prior work. He thought that this earlier work was much more important artistically and was highly frustrated at the fame Star Wars had brought him. He essentially defined a geek personality type, but wasn't himself a geek. Source: "My Name Escapes Me: The Diary of a Retiring Actor"
ubuibiok Avatar
Posted: 09.21.08, 11:19 PM
? "I see that genre based writing is still a going concern. ...These for all Mr. Stephenson's talk will not go away for a long time." Count the Dimes and then define to me your length of Time. I have read very little of his works, mainly liken to everyone else, the revaluation has overwhelmed me with multiple distractions of, my Time. My Search request, after starting to read his " In the Beginning was the Command Line, by Neal Stephenson, raised the Question of his Style. How was he nurtured to this extent, to express his thoughts with such style. I am the reader, he is the leader and my thoughts wondered as I attempted to relate to his exposure to ligature, that Greater then mine started 2 years after my beginnings in Life. I hope his Style "will not go away", I will even agree that there will be others that will keep it alive. However, my children are not so inclined nor is there culture! My initial exposure to a lecture was on a hard wooden pew for times exceeding over an hour. That brought about pain relief and the destructive wiggling with the interdiction with the segregation from the young and the old with a brief intermission and the happy feet in use path to Sunday school. After 30 min we were dragged back, some crying, to the hard wood reality of authority for a quick recap, a song or 2 and social news. The final song brought forth the passing of the "Plate", if the crowd was large then an other followed by the shuffle out the Back (Main) door. Now, in 2008, its Kids there and into there subgroups, Adults here were its Politics then scripture to justify the Point of view, prayer request, get the cash and it all over back inside the car in under 1 hour. Radio,TV and movies are the modern Literature sources today. SF is King, how else better can you descried the mass majority that the sound Bits feed us and the future minds of our off spring? Is it real, even now, text and edited in cyberspace, will it still be here when the power goes out. I like his style because it resonates on more then one level and it makes my think.
journeyer58 Avatar
Posted: 07.25.08, 11:42 AM
I sense in Mr. Stephenson's lecture a problem, one that will draw attention to the lecture as a whole. Having at one time worked in a bookstore, I see that genre based writing is still a going concern. The genres that still compete for people's attention are, romance, mystery and crime/thriller, along with the military style of writing of the Tom Clancy genre. These for all Mr. Stephenson's talk will not go away for a long time. Many adherents to these particular styles of writing still exist in the real world. As to, speculative fiction, there is a genre that will overtake those others eventually. SF such as Neuromancer, The American Gods and others are gaining ground and will someday command great respect in their particular fields. Great lecture, giving someone many things to think about.
crashsolo Avatar
Posted: 07.14.08, 12:54 PM
He's definitely putting into words what I've been sensing for a while - the idea of genres is really falling apart, as main genres break up into multiple sub genres and cross-genres. I like his basic assertion about SF characters behaving intelligently in the face of the unknown, too. Good talk.
wacondah Avatar
Posted: 07.14.08, 02:56 AM
Stephenson proves once again to be a leading thinker-writer with a dramatic insight into contemporary society. He's a beacon to us all