“International SF” and Problems of Identity


“International SF” and Problems of Identity est un article à lire sur le blog du prix Nebula.

Voici le début :
"We live in a world that increasingly is not defined by national borders. Depending on where one goes, one can hear “Me encanta,” “Ich liebe es,” or “Love ko ‘to” whenever a McDonald’s jingo plays on the radio or television. Levi’s, the quintessential American blue jeans, are not made in the United States anymore, but in factories across the globe. Watch many of the “Adult Swim” shows on the Cartoon Network in the US and one is bound to find Japanese anime-influenced animation. In some ways, the “global village” espoused by Hillary Clinton and others over the past two decades has come to fruition.

But what about Science Fiction? Why is there such a buzz happening now, over two decades after many other pop cultural trends, for “international” SF? What has taken so long for a literary/cultural mode to catch up? These questions may be nigh impossible to address adequately in a short article, but they do bear some consideration, especially as we move toward potential conflicts within and outside the various “international” groups of SF writers and fans.

Literature by its very deliberative nature generally is among the most reactive of various cultural units. It often takes years for a writer to conceive a story, write a rough draft, and then undergo the various revision/editing rounds before it is published. Writers often use elements of everyday life around them in their work, whether or not it be central elements in their stories. Look back at the so-called “Golden Age” of American and British SF. How long was it before concerns raised by second-wave feminists and civil rights activists began to be expressed in speculative fiction? Or what about concerns about environmental degradation? The first Earth Day was held in 1970. How long after that was there much attention being paid to those concerns in SF writings? There always seems to be a lag of a few years between profound socio-cultural events (say, the Stonewall riots) and widespread exploration/acceptance in various literary media. So perhaps it should not be a surprise that it has taken several years for Anglophone audiences to see literature that reflects the increasingly interdependent, international trends of the past thirty years. "
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