Paul Kincaid é fan poser de classificações. Classificar é sempre um problema, e tratando-se de ficção científica, parece que é o único assunto. É ou não é SF? Que mundo é esse que vivemos em que Harry Potter ganha o Hugo?
- I once heard a prominent figure on the British SF scene complain in all seriousness that a particular book should not have won [the Arthur C. Clarke Award] because, “it doesn’t have a rocket ship on the cover.” That year none of the shortlisted books, including the one this person would have preferred to take the laurel, had a rocket ship on the cover.
- The Road is superbly written, but in purely science fictional terms it covers familiar ground and doesn’t bring that much that is fresh to it other than a certain authorial sensitivity. Against the Day does make wholesale use of a variety of SF devices, just as it makes free with a variety of other devices also, and the reviews were frankly mixed. […] But no one was clamouring last year for Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America to be shortlisted even though it did contain the single best chapter (and, next to it, the single worst chapter) you are likely to find in any contemporary alternate history novel.
- It’s easy to understand why this is happening when writers like China Miéville deliberately blur the line between SF and fantasy, when others like Jon Courtenay Grimwood blur the line between SF and crime, when fantasy authors like J.K. Rowling win the top SF award, and when an increasing number of supposedly mainstream writers use SF devices as if they are an unexceptional part of their literary arsenal.
- Realism has long since lost its monopoly grasp on seriousness, and that has meant that the ghetto walls have crumbled. But being despised had its advantages: there was always somebody telling us where our territory stopped. With the boundary markers gone, it’s not always so clear what science fiction actually is. […] Where once, if it was good then it could not be science fiction, now, perhaps, if it is good then it must be science fiction.