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June 01, 2005

To Infinity...and Beyond! Or Not...

by Ron Hogan

Remember the Mundanes? Recently, the science-fiction radicals have been using their blog to catalog some of the responses to their manifesto (which, as you may recall, advocated "eschewing space opera theatrics and preposterous physics in favor of dense near-future realizations"). The latest round of debate seems to have begun when Ian McDonald noticed his latest novel, River of Gods, unintentionally fulfilled the Mundane manifesto. "Will I then be co-opted against my will, like being converted to Mormonism after your death?" he mused, adding, "[T]he Mundane Manifesto is totally unnecessary to produce the type of science-fiction it celebrates."

Charlie Stross (who I'm hoping to rope into an Author2Author) looked at the whole thing with bemusement, while commenting that the Mundanes seem to have attacked some of the surface problems with modern science fiction without addressing the underlying "cult of heroism." That bit of analysis got noticed at, while Lou Anders, the head of Prometheus Books's science fiction line, added further reflection.

(As an aside, McDonald has also announced on his blog that Pyr will be publishing River of Gods in the U.S. sometime in 2006, which strikes me as about damn time somebody brought his books back into this country. But then I've said that already...)

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