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  1.  (9754.1)
    "The Spaces Between Stars."

    My name’s Warren Ellis. I’m mostly a science fiction writer. I’m sometimes also a crime writer. These are essentially the same thing.

    Let me try and explain that....
  2.  (9754.2)
    Almost in full agreement with your thesis in this essay. The bit quoted below especially reminds me of a lot of what I've been seeing in the books I've read recently.

    It was HG Wells, in large part, who made science fiction into social fiction. You can trace back the roots of that movement to Mary Shelley and beyond, but it was Wells who both concretised it and gave it common currency. Science fiction is nominally about the novum, the new thing that disrupts the world of the story. But THE INVISIBLE MAN is not about an invisibility process, just as THE TIME MACHINE is not really about a time machine. The great Wells fireworks were novels about the human condition, the sociopolitical space and the way Wells saw life being lived.

    In crime fiction, of course, the story is nominally about the crime: the disruptive event introduced into the world of the story. But THE BIG SLEEP isn’t about a murder, and FAREWELL MY LOVELY isn’t about a missing person. Chandler’s great leap – and of course there were antecedents and even peers, but it’s Chandler who is indelible – was to make crime fiction fully an expression of social fiction.

    It's a growing belief of mine that the things that appear to make a science fiction story a science fiction story (replace SF for fantasy or crime as you please) are shadows cast by stories which deal with what the writer sees and thinks when they look at the world around them. A Mars colonisation epic is a way to explore radical twentieth century politics and hypothetical mega-engineering. A murder of an indebted drug addicted dilettante is a canny way to use a policeman character to explore society at all levels. It's a general idea that needs to be said and said often.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2011
     (9754.3)
    I could read stuff like that essay all day.

    But then I'd get fired and not be able to afford to buy Warren's new book.
    • CommentAuthorPablo
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2011
     (9754.4)
    Brilliant essay.
    • CommentAuthorZJVavrek
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2011
     (9754.5)
    A line towards the end catches my eye.
    But what I’m talking about is money, the acquisition of power, the deals we make in the name of security, the unique soul-killing exhaustion that comes of caring too much for too long, and the faces madness take in our lives.


    I look forward even more to your next novel now. Cheers.
    •  
      CommentAuthorHEY APATHY!
    • CommentTimeApr 13th 2011 edited
     (9754.6)
    Nice, it's that sneaky underlying social (fact?) fiction-talking about our lives crap that makes what you (amongst a lineage of other authors ) do important. Cheers,
    •  
      CommentAuthorMikiM
    • CommentTimeApr 16th 2011
     (9754.7)
    I just have to trust that the good people at Mulholland Books will catch me when I get confused and give my New York City police detective rocket pants and a ray gun.

    I chortled.
    •  
      CommentAuthorPhilip
    • CommentTimeApr 16th 2011
     (9754.8)
    Ooh, my underbits tingle with excitement. :D I've been hoping you'd get back on track with books..