Illustration for article titled Are we no longer willing to go through the Looking Glass?

Over at Genreville, Rose Fox makes a connection I've never seen anyone make before, which instantly feels to have a lot of truth to it. On the one hand, the whole publishing industry has decided that it will no longer welcome "portal fantasy," like Narnia or Alice in Wonderland — stories where someone goes through a gateway into a magical world. On the other hand, science fiction (and fantasy) dealing with the future has a kind of weariness to it, and a sense that all the futures are things we've seen before or age-old tropes we're revisiting, as Paul Kincaid wrote recently.


Could these two things be connected? At the root of both phenomena appears to be a sense that we no longer want to explore strange new worlds — we already know what we'll find, after all. Instead of strange futures and uncanny fantasy worlds, Fox suggests, we're instead exploring alternate history — in which the past is somehow made new. [Genreville]


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