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Old October 11 2012, 12:46 AM   #1695
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
And the same applies to authors, of course. How do you categorize authors like Tim Powers or Graham Joyce, or even Ellison, Leiber, Matheson, Sturgeon, etcetera?

But I suppose we're digressing a bit from "tv development news," so let's just note that sf, fantasy, and horror have blurred together on TV since the glory days of The Twilight Zone . . . .
Ellison is a fabulist; Matheson was primarily a horror writer, with some quasispiritualist religious novels; Leiber was multimodal, writing fantasy, SF and horror. The interesting thing should be that Leiber's SF/fantasy blend Gather, Darkness! was mediocre, while Conjure Wife is great horror, The Wanderer Hugo-winning SF and the Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser series beloved fantasy.

Matheson's horror novel I must submit did not successfully blend SF/fantasy tropes or the movies would have actually used his version.

Sturgeon was another multimodal writer. But again, I don't see much success in mixing genres. Also, Sturgeon's More Than Human, Venus Plux X and The Cosmic Rape, as well as such famous short stories as The Widget, the Wadget and [Boff] simply cannot be reconceived with fantasy tropes. The insistence on blurring the lines means misreading these works.

Incidentally, such Sturgeon fantasies as the one where a man discovers the people who change the scenery so that time passes (forgot the name) are notably good because they eschew all the previous fantasy tropes. If there were predecessors to that they weren't well know enough to be considered tropes. There's no kitchen-sinkism there. Tim Powers is pretty straightforwardly a fantasist, unless for some bizarre reason you insist that fantasy excludes time travel.

Horror uses SF or fantasy tropes. It doesn't often use both in the same work with great success. Maybe Robert Matheson's I Am Legend is an exception, but the movies never troubled using much of his rationalizations, so I'm doubtful. But horror often doesn't use either form of the fantastic, sticking with grim reality, as in serial killers or child abusers. Does this mean SF and fantasy both blur into realism? Hardly. That's as peculiar as insisting that since so much SF is satire, that SF and satire blur together.
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