Lately I’ve noticed that Science Fiction is skyrocketing up the bestseller list. It’s a genre with more than one face, a power-player that publishers are calling ‘speculative fiction’.

I like the kind of SF that asks “what if” ~ literary novels that focus on society’s issues with just enough technology/mystery for drama. And it has to be weird and wondrous, too, not unlike the ‘speculative’ Wallace Stevens poem, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, that my writing group eviscerated in search of heads-up truths. Man, Woman, Blackbird ~ a build-your-own-world-and-way-of-looking-at-it experience off the reality grid.

What if? The Handmaid’s Tale and Brave New World come to mind. (No campy bug-eyed birds here.)

Isaac Asimov, once asked to explain the difference between science fiction and fantasy, replied that science fiction, given its grounding in science, is possible; fantasy, which has no grounding in reality, is not.

Bookstore shelves tell the story of the SF/fantasy kinship with plenty of dusty old gems among the new releases. There’s cyberpunk (Neuromancer by William Gibson), military SF (Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein), hard SF (Darwin’s Radio by Greg Bear), parallel/alternative universe SF (Fatherland by Robert Harris), space opera (Barsoom by Edgar Rice Burroughs), epic fantasy (The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien), court intrigue (A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R . Martin), quest fantasy (Dominions of Earth by Adam Lee), historical fantasy (Pendragon Cycle by Stephan R. Lawhead), contemporary fantasy (Dry Water by Eric Nylund), urban fantasy (A Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin), and yes, even science fantasy (Dragonrider by Anne McCaffrey).

A fantasy and science fiction display at a book store in Ra’anana - Daniel Tchetchik

The book covers used to be pulpy. Classic images of the SF-kind are the ones I remember on magazines from the 1950s. They literally depicted the story inside.  This cover for a tale about Martians attacking the Earth shows, well, Martians attacking the Earth.

Fun.  Simple. Literal.  Just like us at WWWW.


WWWW’s Bespoke Book Cover 

Want your own?  Make it pulpy, brash, or sinister in the blink of a cosmic eye.  Grab your ray-gun and rocket over to PULP-O-MIZER. Pulp-o-Mizer lets you save your cover and re-load it later. And if you love it beyond utterance, there’s Lots of Stuff you can buy ~ posters, mugs, notebooks, cards, shirts, calendars, clocks and more ~ branded with your very own design.

So, what are you waiting for?

‘Resistance is futile.’          

(The Borg, Star Trek)

Toni 7/31/13