Tuesday, June 16, 2020

quote for the day

So, here's a quote I came across that I thought I'd share.

In a 1989 interview, Robert Holdstock described American science fiction magazines of the mid-sixties as

"where ideas were combined with illiteracy"

I wdn't put it that strongly, but I think Holdstock was picking up on something I noticed when trying to get a handle on the key difference between the New Wave of the late sixties and what came before it: writers of the Gernsback and Campbell eras, whose readers judged science fiction on whether a work had a new or interesting idea and not the eloquence of the prose. Some fans even made it a point of honor to disparage writers who wrote well, like Bradbury.

Anyway, thought it was a great quote. Enjoy!

--John R.

1 comment:

ATMachine said...

I looked up the interview and found it a little bemusing that in the same passage Holdstock cites Michael Moorcock as an author who he thinks rises above this sort of thing.

Personally, I'd argue Moorcock is guilty of the same vices and virtues as the American pulp writers: a tendency toward Big Ideas in terms of fantastic imagery, but prose that can be extremely dull and workmanlike, and characterization that's sometimes as simplistic as anything Edgar Rice Burroughs or EE "Doc" Smith ever wrote.

- ATM (Andrew McCarthy)