C'est la question qui donne son titre à un article en anglais
de l'auteur Mike Brotherton.
Voici un extrait :
One of my Clarion classmates did a critique of a story where the opening was problematic this way. “My shelf got full,” he explained. He proposed a metaphor in which each new idea in a story goes onto a shelf, until it fills up. When the ideas keep coming, other ideas get pushed off the shelf. And, here’s the real issue, everyone’s shelf is a different length. (Try RAM for a computer metaphor.)
This is one reason why series are popular, and science fiction has a mess of them. Star Trek, and its spin offs, for instance. The who, where, when, why, and how are fixed or similar. Only the what typically changes. Series leave more space on the shelf (as some things have been stored in the ROM).
Still, in science fiction there is a tradition of celebrating new ideas and originality. Some writers get praised for how many ideas they can pack into every page, or even every line. And they tend not to acquire large audiences. Not many people have long shelves, but getting to use the full length of the shelf can be pleasing when you don’t get a lot of opportunities to do it.