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galacticjourney ([personal profile] galacticjourney) wrote2017-07-31 03:49 pm

[July 31, 1962] The Brass Mean (August 1962 Analog Science Fiction)

[if you’re new to the Journey, read this to see what we’re all about!]


by Gideon Marcus

"I don't like science fiction."

How often have you heard this? Loved ones, co-workers, indignant acquaintances with noses reared up to the sky will happily give you their opinion of our degenerate genre. And it's a dumb opinion.

Why? Because science fiction isn't a magazine or a story or an author. It's a wide genre. Saying "I don't like science fiction" is like saying "I don't like red books" or "I don't like movies that have dogs in them." Sure, there's plenty of bad science fiction, in print and (especially) in film, but there's also, per Ted Sturgeon, about 10% gold – as in any genre.

Science fiction runs in quality from the humdrum, technical gotcha stories of the last two decades to the absolute peaks of sublimity (q.v. Cordwainer Smith, Zenna Henderson, etc.) Moreover, such ranges can generally be found even in individual sources; i.e. you can find both excellent and lousy stories in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Galaxy, or any other digest.

Of course, if anyone is going to be turned off of sf as a genre, it probably will be the humdrum, workmanlike stories that do it. Not bad enough to be noteworthy, not good enough to be recommended -- just dull, mediocre stuff.

And that's what we have a lot of in the August 1962 Analog, a magazine that will only contribute to the notion that science fiction just ain't that good.



(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)