Sci-Fi or Not?

Truscifi at the True Science Fiction Blog wanted to join in the latest “Is it scifi or not?” debate, but was frustrated because he hadn’t seen any of the movies John Scalzi analyzed for the AMCTV blog. What to do?

My mom (yes, my mom – she is one of my now 5 regular readers) actually just sent me an email suggesting I post about [A Boy and His Dog] and ask other people’s opinions of whether or not it is scifi.

Thanks, Mom! (Is there any question who’s a man’s best friend?) ”Truscifi” quickly ticks off solid reasons why the movie should be classified sci-fi rather than a surrealist fantasy or political satire. He’s convinced me. On the other hand, Harlan Ellison is probably somewhere grinding his teeth. How often does a fellow have to quit science fiction? (And everyone knows Ellison’s distaste for “sci-fi.”)

Ellison quit science fiction several times. I was in the audience when he did so during his guest of honor speech at the 1975 NASFiC:

Though in many other years he had actively courted fandom for Hugo Awards, at the 1975 NASFiC, Ellison declared from a lectern surrounded by his Hugos and Nebulas, that he no longer wanted to be defined as a science fiction writer or limit his audience to sf readers.

Half an hour after Ellison’s speech, Larry Niven was going up in a hotel elevator, proudly carrying the Hugo he received for “The Hole Man” which friends had just brought him from Australia. Two teenaged boys popped into the elevator next to him and recognized the award, but not the owner.

“Gee, mister, where did you get the Hugo?” one asked.

Without hesitation, Niven cynically answered, “I got it from Harlan. He’s quitting science fiction and is giving away his awards. I think he still has a couple left.”

2 thoughts on “Sci-Fi or Not?

  1. Pingback: Trying To Keep Up « The Crotchety Old Fan

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