While researching my paper on Buddy Holly, nostalgia, and retro-futurism for the Eaton/SFRA Science Fiction conference, I came across this interesting exchange from October 2012. I’ll be mentioning these three essays (at least in passing) during my presentation; they’re worth reading if you missed them and worth revisiting if you didn’t.
They deal with the state of contemporary SF and its tendency to look “backward.” It begins with Paul Kincaid’s review of the Best Science Fiction of 2012 Anthologies, then Jonathan McCalmont’s impassioned response on his Ruthless Culture blog, and then David Brin’s critique of that response. Brin’s essay is called “Has 21st Century Science Fiction gone cowardly? Or worse… nostalgic?”
My paper wades into this debate, considering at least one case where iconography from retro/nostalgia culture was used in a progressive way by SF writers.