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NYT Quotes Richard K. Morgan

There's a great quote of RKM in the Times today, in the context of a "Can Star Wars be over please?" article. The whole article is worthwhile, and much of SF turns out to bash Lucas, including Ray Bradbury and Mary Doria Russell. The quote from RKM:
"That's the past of science fiction you're talking about," said Richard K. Morgan, the British cyberpunk-noir writer whose most recent novel is "Market Forces."
   Mr. Morgan is one of a newer breed of science fiction writers who have moved far beyond the whiz-bang technological vision of Mr. Lucas's blockbusters.
   "It's just such a huge shame," he said. "Anyone who is a practitioner of science fiction is constantly dogged by the ghettoization of the genre. And a lot of that comes from the very simplistic, 2-D Lucasesque view of what science fiction has to offer."
Anyone else eager to see the Sith hang it up? Tired of space opera? Or just ready to admit that the cyberpunks, nanopunks, etc brought new ideas to SF and into the mainstream since the 1970s? Alternately, is the Times just behind the pop culture curve again.

I'm fond of the Star Wars universe, but it does feel a bit like a fly caught in amber. So 70s...

Ok, back to the book, now, really.


( 4 sutras — Your wisdom )
May. 1st, 2005 11:38 pm (UTC)
Anyone else eager to see the Sith hang it up?

Yep, I am. I was so disappointed with the first one and so angry at the ineptitude of the second that I really want to see these films die a quiet death. On the other hand, Kevin Smith has seen it and has raved about it in a spoiler-rich review at ViewAskewniverse.com. I'll wait and see, but a quiet death might be best at this point.

I think the biggest problem with the new series isn't necessaarily that it's outdated so much as that it hasn't dated along with the audience that gave it the life it's had in the interregnum between series. I don't think Lucas has absorbed the sophistication that his audience has developed, even the kids. Kids are a different breed these days than when the first trilogy came out.

My thinking, anyway.

May. 1st, 2005 11:43 pm (UTC)
I admire and like Richard (and admire the others, whom I don't know at all), but this is a silly article by and for those who want to sneer at a successful, entertaining series of movies while overlooking the simple fact that Star Wars isn't science-fiction and George Lucas has long acknowledged that fact. The piece would have annoyed me less if it hadn't so obviously set up the good SF writers who were interviewed into making unnecessarily disparaging remarks about the orange to which their apples were being spuriously compared.

This isn't to say the article doesn't make some good points, but it does so in such a superior, underhanded tone that it leaves me with more sympathy for Lucas and Star Wars fans, and much less for the SF elite whose work I admire but whose cowardly insecurity is all too easy to provoke.

Okay, so I'm a bit grr on this point. In my defense, I truly don't put Lucas on a pedestal, and I have what I think are pretty objective opinions on the movies, all things considered. But geeze, people! Get a freaking worthwhile topic and stop dancing around the damned guy to attract attention to yourselves. You're much more interesting without him.

May. 2nd, 2005 03:14 pm (UTC)
The Times makes a habit of silly trend pieces like this, and some of their reporting on the publishing industry is a bit embarrassing.

But I think it's a mistake to accept Lucas's definition of his audience and his work. Artists don't get to define that; they may have an audience in mind, but the people who ultimately adopt a work as important do so for their own reasons. Lucas may not think he is creating SF, but the fans largely disagree.

It's also annoying when Lucas dismisses his own work's impact and excludes some of his most loyal fans by saying "It just kid's matinee" or "It's not science fiction." He's also either devaluing the achievement or trying to pitch the Joseph Campbell line.

The superior tone is par for the venue. A certain snobbery and backlash is expected.
May. 2nd, 2005 03:31 pm (UTC)
I agree on most of your points, but I think the fans--as opposed to the rest of the people who see the movies--know that it's space fantasy, and not just because Lucas says so. Also, I don't think it's dismissing the films to liken them to one of their obvious influences, the matinee serial. When Lucas claims the Campbellian influence, it makes my teeth hurt.

Even when expected, this sort of exercise in snobbery is still a damned waste of pages that could be devoted to something more engaging. Like, say, an interview with Richard Morgan about his work.

In the meantime, I'm still cautiously optimistic that most of Revenge of the Sith will be fun. The world won't end if it isn't.
( 4 sutras — Your wisdom )

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