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meme it, please!

Last night I put up a post requesting mundane-ized titles for existing SF novels. Oh my, but are y'all clever! If you haven't already, let's meme this buggar!

Be sure to include a link to the definition of "mundane SF" so people have some idea of what you're talking about. Also, be aware that the word "mundane" has long been denegrated by SFnal folks: "Mundane" usually refers to the non-SF people who are incapable of viewing the universe outside of their little life's confines, and "mundane fiction" usually refers to the "college literary" genre with its tiny concerns and hopeless attitude toward life. Many mundanes fear and loathe SF. So what a strange thing to want to call your approach to SF!

Yes, I realize this is playing right into the hands of those mundaners, getting the word out on their silly notion, but that's a small price to pay for the fun!



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 1st, 2007 04:22 pm (UTC)
I am so meming this on my blog...
May. 1st, 2007 07:50 pm (UTC)
While I do find the meme funny, there's too much misunderstanding--as if science isn't exciting right now. I like telekinesis and such as much as the next guy, but there hasn't been much evidence for it to really call science.

Oh, and "Mundane" refers to Earth. It made a lot of sense to Italian fans--as it probably would in Spanish. In spanish the world is called el mundo:


Etymology: Middle English mondeyne, from Anglo-French mundain, from Late Latin mundanus, from Latin mundus world
1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of the world

May. 1st, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC)
Writing about science as it is right now, with no changes to the world, would make a story not-SF. My definition of SF requires some change to the world that affects what it means to be human; no change or affect to the human condition, no SF.

If it's just keeping people on Earth, then you don't want space elevators, right? (That was my suggestion on your post.)

But the real point of my inability to understand why you want to promote today-tech-Earth-based SF is that you eliminate the whole point of SF. What it boils down to is simply "fiction." When you boil off the larger implications, change, speculations, and other cool things about SF, you end up with mundane fiction - no need to call it "mundane SF." The only difference is that if you write about technology in such a story, you won't get it published in college literary magazines.

(PS: What does telekinesis have to do with SF? Or do you include fantasy under the SF umbrella? Unless you mean using robotics or such to affect things at great distance.)
May. 2nd, 2007 12:54 am (UTC)
Writing about science as it is right now, with no changes to the world, would make a story not-SF.

Again, recall what I wrote about nanotech. Again, we're talking probable extrapolations.


Mundane SF is flexible, but practical. For some, MSF will take place only on Earth. For others, humanity will expand through the habitable parts of the solar system.

First and foremost, in my mind at least, MSF is a state of mind. Grasp the basic idea then run with your own version.


But the real point of my inability to understand why you want to promote today-tech-Earth-based SF

Because, as I've pointed out before (see recent discussion on deconstruction, for one), you're talking about a focus on tomorrow's technology that may never be there. Have you read COLLAPSE? It's the same thing. SF may help foster a feeling that we can put of today's problems for tomorrow--and tomorrow may be no better prepared. There may not be a superduper pooper scooper, or whatever.

Any probable extrapolation is accepted. If MSF allows extrapolation, then obviously it does not eliminate the whole point of SF. It's simply a more rigorous form.

In fact, some SF isn't about science at all but imaginary cultural extrapolations. Much of LeGuin's work ponders the social/societal aspects in SF--sometimes due to strange environment but not always. I think I'm thinking of her collection Birthday of the World though it may be another.


teleportation, telekinesis--all sorts of paranormal activities were all considered SF. Esp. by Campbell.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )