Monday, May 29, 2017

Cross-pollination …

… Literary fiction is borrowing the tools of the science fiction genre. (Hat tip, G.E. Reutter.)

George Orwell and Aldous Huxley wrote speculative fiction in the first half of the 20th century, and Doris Lessing and Margaret Atwood wrote it in the second half. Nevertheless, in 1996, when David Foster Wallace published Infinite Jest, the fact that book was set in a not-too-distant future in which northern New England has been rendered a toxic waste dump was viewed as an eccentricity (as well as rather tiresomely broad satire). By the mid-2000s, dashes of dystopia had begun to appear in novels such as David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, but it was Cormac McCarthy’s 2006 novel The Road that made futurist fiction fully legit in MFA circles. 

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