Surrealism, Spec Fic, Sci-Fi, and “Tenth of December”


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“Tenth of December” is a fantastic collection of short stories. The characters, a series of unreliable narrators, are interesting and complicated. The stories stick in the mind, sorrows and joys that only last a few pages making powerful impressions.

And a bunch of them are science fiction. Not that the book’s being marketed that way. Not that you’ll find it in the sci-fi fantasy section. But it’s definitely science fiction. One story involves a series of mind-control drugs. Another revolves around women from the third world who have had wires put in their head to make them living lawn ornaments. 1saunders0106

So what does it mean, that no one is talking about this as “sci-fi”? Does it mean that the sci-fi is neutered? Made palatable for a wider audience uncomfotable with words like “fantasy”? Or does it mean that science fiction has found acceptance in a way it never has before, is being given love and adoration and critical acclaim the old school writers couldn’t dream of?

I dunno. But it’s interesting to think about.


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