Does the literary establishment still look down on science fiction through its glossy monocle? Apparently so, judging from a panel that took place at New York City's New School over the weekend. Time Magazine's Lev Grossman argued for tearing down the artificial distinction between "high art" and genre writing, and claimed that the recent trend of literary authors using speculative ideas in their work meant it was time to start taking speculative fiction more seriously. But New York Review Of Books contributor Geoffrey O'Brien and the New School's Robert Polito argued that literary authors have always mixed up genres, going back to James Joyce, and they at least implied that genre fiction is only worthwhile as a source of material for literary authors to mine. Oh well. []


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