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Why Sci-Fi is Rubbish
Science Fiction, and Fantasy books are almost universally rubbish.

We earthlings suffer a daily bombardment of those meteorites of mediocrity, from the publishers on the planet of Puke. And the Hollywood SF films are as bad, if not worse. The only good ones I've seen are Brazil, Dune and Galaxy Quest.

Any literate gentleman and increasingly, women, will agree with me, at once. And wonder the reason why?

1) Scientists are unfit to be novelists. They write, but precisely, for technical magazines. They have imagination, but of the physical, not the social and emotional sort. (This, incidentally, is why so many of them incline to socialism in their politics, favoring rational planning over a messy free market.) Asimov had brilliant ideas, but his characters are empty.

2) Such books, and their readers have a teenagers outlook. Their hero is usually someone like the young king Arthur, never a mature and established Pro-Consul, like myself. It is notorious that the adult is either a wizard, or the vilian.

3) Writing to entertain is admirable. But Sci-Fi provides the spectacular. Worlds collide, but no-one on them has a proper job of work. A proper novel, instead, develops its characters, to reveal universal truths about human passions, while the setting is merely their trap.

4) Special effects are now cheaper. It is easier to paint robots and explosions on film, than to pay proper writers to provide interesting dialogue for good actors.

5) Thanks to a needless growth of universities, in recent decades, the paying public is now a horde of half-educated graduates in need of escapism. No longer a thoughtful middle class.

6) No book should be longer than 160 pages. PG Wodehouse knew what he was doing, whereas eg Tolkein was a driveller.


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