It’s easier to knock the optimists if you ignore what they’re actually saying

Paul Raven @ 30-09-2008

If nothing else, Damien Walter’s post about positivity in sf has poked up the embers and got some debate crackling. But when I say “debate”, I may actually mean “knee-jerk reactions to someone suggesting that change wouldn’t be a bad thing”…

Jason Stoddard decided to codify his ideas in a Positive Science Fiction Manifesto, and Jetse de Vries chipped in again as well. Jason’s manifesto made the error of mentioning capitalism in a positive light, however, causing David Moles to mis-paraphrase him as saying the problem with contemporary science fiction is that it doesn’t love capitalism enough, and for io9 to do an unusually sloppy job of yeah-what-he-said bandwagoneering. Both posts address half a point out of the five that Jason lists… is it overly capitalistic of me to be keeping score?

Just for the record, I’m very fond of dystopic fiction but I’d quite like to see some more optimistic pieces as well; I don’t see why both can’t coexist, given the number of specialist niche venues in the market. What I find grimly amusing is to see the same knee-jerk reactions that the Mundane SF manifesto caused happening all over again… so much for sf readers being open to change, huh?