We've got renewed reason to celebrate around here, as you've no doubt already heard. Unless you've been living under a very media-isolated rock, you'll have heard the announcement about the ALA awards--and my very own co-blogger, Tanita, received a Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book award for Mare's War. That book is kicking butt and taking names this year, and I think I can safely say that we are all incredibly proud and excited. The ALA announced all of its other awards and honors on Monday, too; for the original release, click here, and for a roundup of other Cybils authors who were honored, check the Cybils site. There are a number of other truly wonderful and deserving titles on the Cybils finalist list, too, which is now available in printer-friendly format.
On that note, my work here as shill is done. :)
However, I also really wanted to share a quote I ran across this morning while reading a book review article (about the works of J.G. Ballard, with whom I'm not incredibly familiar) in the Jan/Feb Atlantic. The author of the article openly notes that he has never liked "so-called science fiction." Here's the quote:
The natural universe is far too complex and frightening and impressive on its own to require the puerile add-ons of space aliens and super-weapons: the interplanetary genre made even C.S. Lewis write more falsely than he normally did.
I was dumbstruck, essentially, by the article author's excessively pedantic and dismissive description of the entire science fiction genre. I know he's far from alone in that opinion, and certainly there are loads of pulpy science-fiction novels to lend weight to his assertion, but I can't help but feel that he's missing something essential here. Not just the many works that can't be distilled to mere "space aliens and super-weapons," but the element of imagination, of dreaming about the possibilities of the present and the future. It's as if there's no point in dwelling on anything other than grim reality and its equally dismal and/or incomprehensible implications for our future. But if that were true, we'd have no great creative works, no pioneering science. The creators of the Mars Rover certainly were not satisfied to remain earthbound.
Anyway, just sayin'. Rant over now. (And if you're interested, the article is here.)