I love digging through used bookstores and finding interesting-looking sci-fi books from 40, 50, or 60 years ago. But I recently came across a post on author Rudy Rucker's blog that has me wondering whether it is time for science-fiction writing to evolve.
In New Futures In SF, Rucker talks about his perception that the field of sci-fi fiction needs to be shaken up:
Living art forms change-think of painting or popular music or literary novels or even TV sit-coms. SF people are always sad to see the most recent "Golden Age" slip away, but it's sadder still to keep doing the same thing. Inevitably the old material goes stale and the fire gutters down. It's still possible to write novels about androids and spaceships and uploading your brain. And, by the same token, it's still possible to write a doo-wop song or paint an abstract expressionist painting. But old forms become stiff and mannered, and working with them is a bit quixotic. Why not some new kinds of SF novel? This is, after all, the twenty-first century.
Rucker ruminates on the need for change (and why it is particularly important now), and offers eight high-level concepts (including Live Brains, When Everything Is Alive, and The Subdimensions) that he believes are underutilized by sci-fi authors.
If you're at all interested in sci-fi novels (either as a reader or a writer), I encourage you to take the time to read Rucker's article. There's a lot to digest, and I'm interested in seeing whether it will serve as ground zero to a new wave of sci-fi creativity.