Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Secondary School Topic: Science Fiction

10-second review: Why read science fiction?

Title: “Why Science Fiction?” J Kafka. English Journal (May 1975), 46-53. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Summary/Quote: “In his novel, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. has his main character, Eliot Rosewater, address a convention of science fiction writers:

“ ‘I love you [science fiction writers, but what he really said was SOB’s]. You’re all I read anymore. You’re the only ones who’ll talk about the really terrific changes going on. You’re the only ones with guts enough to really care about the future, who really notice what machines do to us, what wars do to us, what cities do to us…. You’re the only ones zany enough to agonize over time and distance without limit, over mysteries that will never die….’

“This statement, from a writer who has frequently been accused of trying to divorce himself from the science fiction brotherhood, is for me the best possible answer to the question, ‘Why Science Fiction?’ ”

Comment: The author has attached an extensive science fiction bibliography to the article. If my readers are interested, write to me at, and I will send you a copy. RayS.

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