Sf Signal, in its Mind Melds section, recently posed a question to some writers about whether they have had difficulty getting something published or found themselves self-censoring due to some sort of taboo that they were violating. Are there still such taboos in science fiction, they were asked. Way back in the day, especially before the New Wave, sex and swear-words were rare in sf, but are there new things that arouse similar uneasiness now? The writers had some varying opinions on the topic, and then there were a bunch of comments by site readers. The comments were mostly fairly tiresome and unenlightening (as people arguing with each other in blog comments tends to be) but it got me thinking about the subject.
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Monday, March 23, 2009
If you're a reader or a writer and can think of something That Dare Not Speak Its Name in an sf story, go ahead and leave a comment here. I'd love to hear what you think. And if you're a writer, maybe go ahead and write the controversial tale and send it to me and I may publish it in the zine. I haven't turned away a story yet due only to its subject matter (unless it was just not in the genre, like a story about the Ghost Hunters guys finding evidence of the ghost of the Loch Ness Monster), and I am having a hard time dreaming up a subject that would make me blanch and say, "No, this story is waaaay too controversial and taboo-ridden." Obviously it would need also to be an entertaining story, not just some piece of prose constructed just to be shocking. Writers for and readers of M-Brane already know, of course, that I don't buy into the "rated PG-13" mentality that has overrun almost the whole culture. I don't think everything needs to be for kids, and I don't think it would be even in the least desirable for me to try to tailor it for such an audience. Most everyone else seems to be servicing the kindergarchy already anyway. So there have been and will continue to be (as soon as 4/1 when #3 comes out) some swear words and sexual references published here and there in M-Brane. And there are some stories in upcoming issues that get fairly edgy in their subject matter. But I don't think I've published or scheduled for publication yet anything particularly "taboo." I probably would, however, if someone came up with it. But would I even recognize it as such? Let's find out.Related Articles :
Labels: writing discussion