Wednesday, March 14, 2018

KSR in Germany interview on the rise of cli-fi

German interview: You mean, when we are more interested in the history of science fiction, .....

KSR -- Exactly. Every few years, mainstream literary critics in America ane the UK rediscover that many readers are interested, and very much so, in science fiction. And what often happens is the coinage of a new genre label. In the 1980s it was "Cyperpunk" literature. Now it is "Cli-Fi".

However, many critics of your book see it as a response to a much-discussed complaint of the American writer Amitav Gosh. He has, in the last few years, prominently complained that in "serious literature" -- literary fiction -- the topic of climate change is left entirely to the science fiction.

KSR -- i think gosh is course an outstanding writer, but I have read some interviews with him, and I have to say: The basic assumption, there would be a meaningful separation between "serious literature" and "genre novels" such as  science fiction, I feel that this is an insult. 

What Gosh and many others do not understand is that the climate change also very difficult with the means of a conventional novel. The British literary theorist Timothy Morton has coined the concept of hyperobject - things are too large and too complex to be able to still be thought of as things. For me, climate change is such a hyper object. It takes place in time and space dimensions instead, which would not be on the limits of human imagination, and is therefore not to describe in a genre that traditionally has focused only on between human. The history of the science fiction provides me with the right tool for the job. Long before anyone ever spoken by climate change, authors such as J.G. Ballard and John Brunner recognized that our planet can play an active role in a story

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