Strange Sci-fi

Yesterday on Twitter, I asked:

We’ve had New Weird and Steampunk. What’s going to be the “next big thing” in science fiction?

As you can imagine, I had a number of replies. Some were serious, others less so. For instance, I think Marc Gascoigne was perfectly serious with this heartfelt plea:

Spacepunk, sir… Spacepunk

Whereas Jonathan McCalmont had his tongue firmly in his cheek when he wrote:

VampirePunk : The former members of Crass kick the shit out of the casts of Twilight and the Anita Blake novels.

But the one that really caught my eye was a blog post from Jason Sanford in which he puts the case for an emerging trend he calls “SciFi Strange“.

SciFi Strange writers live in today’s multicultural world, where diversity and difference are the norm, even as we explore the basic human values and needs which bind all of us together. SciFi Strange also flirts with the boundaries of what is scientifically–and therefore realistically–possible, without being bounded by the rigid frames of the world as we know it today. But don’t mistake SciFi Strange for fantasy. This is pure science fiction. It’s merely an updated version of the literature of ideas. A SF equipped for a world where the frontiers of scientific possibility are almost philosophical in nature.

He goes on to name a few stories he identifies as SciFi Strange, including stories by Aliette de Bodard,  Eugie Foster, Mercurio D. Rivera, Paolo Bacigalupi, Ted Chiang, Ian McDonald, and Nnedi Okorafor. He even includes my own short story, “Ack-Ack Macaque“.

What do you think? Does his argument make sense – or are there other “movements” emerging in modern science fiction?

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3 Comments

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  1. Stuart says:

    Wow, I’m working on a Sci-Fi strange novel at the moment. “A SF equipped for a world where the frontiers of scientific possibility are almost philosophical in nature.” – yes, it does!

  2. Justin says:

    I originally thought Mieville was being light-hearted with this guest post for the amazon blog, but – looking back – I think Noird and Salvagepunk are both relatively sustainable…

  3. I’ve got to admit, I like the sound of Salvagepunk. It reminds me of Paul Raven’s “New Southsea” stories.

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