Never Let Me Go has been all over the papers this weekend with lots of speculation about the films release and success at translating the novel to the screen. I loved the book and am sure the film will have merit as I’m a huge fan of Mark Romenek. What galls me ( and I freely admit I’m an irritable soul) is the gushing praise for its breathtakingly original and as yet unexplored themes in its speculative fiction plot.
Well I thought they were pretty bloody well explored in Spares by Michael Marshall Smith when I was blown away by it in 1995 when it was published.
Speculative fiction is the term used by people too lily livered and literary lite to sully their delicate Daily telegraph book club sensibilities in genre fiction. Sorry – bit harsh, each to their own and all that. I just enjoy reading a bit of everything and have a few friends who are openly snobbish about science fiction. WRONG I say – wrong! Good science fiction taps in to the fears of a generation. Look at Frankenstein and its open fears of electricity and a burgeoning rational scientific culture of experimentation and dissection. William Gibson tapping into the zeitgeist of cyberspace, AI and genetic engineering. Today Lauren Buekes, Max Barry and Ian McDonald are all writing exciting, thought provoking “speculative fiction” about the growth of corporate power, global village phoenomonem, technology, corruption and modern decay in the developing world and they can all be found in your local science fiction aisle.
It’s not all star trek.
Nothing wrong with star trek mind… more on this another time
Anyway – lovely saturday all round. Papers, Steve, a walk on a windy day with giggly kids, a packet of new pins, indian takeaway for tea, starting a new book sprawled on the opposite end of the sofa to Steve as soon as I’ve finished this. Reader, I’m easily pleased.
BT today – showing Zeph how google translate works for his homework. I’m worried I may have unleashed a demon as the simple polish phrases he was finding became more and more quirky and an element of toilet humour crept in. He is an eight yr old boy after all…