Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Plea for Pastiche in Science Fiction

Author Robert Gibson, caretaker of the Ooranye Project, argues in “A Plea for Pastiche in Science Fiction” that “For example if somebody now were to write an SF tale featuring a Percival Lowell type Mars with canals and a breathable atmosphere, and if this author were to perform the amazing feat of writing the story with apparently innocent freshness and belief, so that it was just as attractive a work as if it had appeared a century ago, I say the story should be allowed, should be published and taken seriously as a work of art.”

In making his case for pastiche in science fiction, Gibson brings life to the neglected planet of Uranus, shines some light on Mercury and Venus, and beams about Mars. Here are the Martian works he discusses or mentions:

Out of the Silent Planet (1938), by C. S. Lewis

The Man Who Loved Mars (1973), by Lin Carter

The Valley Where Time Stood Still (1974), by Lin Carter

The City Outside the World (1977), by Lin Carter

Down to a Sunless Sea (1984), by Lin Carter

Martian Time-Slip (1964), by Philip K. Dick

Leigh Brackett’s stories about Low-Canal Mars

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