Science Fiction: Serious Literature or Commercial Pulp?

One of the arguments I regularly hear from the literati is that science fiction doesn’t count as ‘serious’ literature, usually backed up by the claims that sci-fi is nothing more than a pot-boiling thriller set in space, or that sci-fi doesn’t carry some deep and meaningful message like serious literature does. I’ve even heard all science fiction referred to as “cheap trash with absolutely no literary merit whatsoever”, and when I’m exposed to such uninformed assertions I can’t help but be incensed. Now, given that I’m a sci-fi writer myself you could be forgiven for thinking this is just a knee-jerk reaction, but I truly believe that science fiction (or any other genre fiction, for that matter) can have a place alongside serious literature.

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Into The Shadows

As I’ve mentioned a few times already, one of my biggest flaws as a writer is an inability to stay focused on one project for long enough to finish it. Over the years this has led to a realisation that I get my best results by allowing for distractions and by working those distractions into my workflow. This in turn has developed into a tendency to have a primary project on the go, backed up by one or two secondary projects that I can switch to when my passion for the primary starts to wane. That said, this year almost all of my writerly time has been spent working on the rewrite of A Pocketful of Secrets, with mixed results so far. And so following on from my earlier discussion about the various projects I currently have gathering digital dust on my hard drive I’ve been having a think about which of those I want to take on as a secondary project alongside the work I’m doing on the reboot of Faded Skies.

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A Project For Every Occasion

I was sifting through the writing folders on my computer last night and I was a little shocked by just how many projects I’ve started over the years. Quite a few of those projects never made it past the just-an-idea phase, but there’s still a decent number that I’ve taken the time to flesh out and develop enough to consider viable for further work. A couple even have full-length first drafts attached to them, though given that in some cases these were written almost a decade ago I suspect they may need some serious work before I can safely say they’re ready for public consumption. For those who might be interested, here’s a list of those projects I’m most interested in developing further over the next few years.

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