Back in the 1960s, a gang of rebellious authors, led by Michael Moorcock among others, launched an uprising called the New Wave, which shook up science fiction and introduced more literary aspirations, weirdness, and diversity. Over at Tor.com, David Barnett wonders if we're in for another wave.
The Tor.com piece is largely inspired by the release of the first issue of the British magazine/anthology Adventure Rocketship!, which we excerpted recently. But Barnett also talks to Moorcock, plus a few other writers, including Tim Maughan, who says:
There are people kicking against the status quo, and we need them. We need more of them. The ferocity of my opinion shifts from day to day, but right now if you ask me about science fiction I’d suggest it was burnt down to the ground. Nuked back to year zero so we can all start again. It’s just, largely, lost its way. Itås stopped being about ideas, the present or even the future and has just become another slack-jawed asset of the escapist entertainment industry.
I guess there are some very clear parallels with [British New Wave]—that movement was very important to me personally—Aldiss and in particular Ballard are huge influences. But I’m also cautious of the comparison, just as I’m cautious of when I’m compared to cyberpunk. It seems impossible for anyone to review my stuff without mentioning cyberpunk—which is a huge compliment on one hand, as it was a very important movement to me also, but on the other hand…it’s not the 1980s anymore, just as it’s not the 1960s either. Again I think this is part of SF’s apparent fear of the new or unidentified—it just wants to put everything in a box. ‘Computers and the near future? That goes in the box named cyberpunk. Next?’.
The whole thing is well worth checking out. [Tor.com]