RARA-AVIS: Re: Sci-fi

From: Richard Moore ( moorich@aol.com)
Date: 26 Oct 2007

An earlier post answering your questions seems to be lost in the ether. I apologize if it suddenly pops in and covers the same ground.

First of all I am not offended by the use of the term even though I don't use it myself.

The term "sci-fi" was associated with Forest J. Ackerman, creator of the magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland, who relentlessly promoted its use for the last six decades. Through Ackerman the term "sci-fi" came to be associated with the Grade-Z films he was often ballyhooing in print. The better critics (Damon Knight for one) used the label to identify the worst juvenile drek.

If you Google "sci-fi + pejorative" there are over 30,000 hits and I imagine many more are out there with other combinations. I found one fairly recent one from writer Mike Resnick who corrected an interviewer's use of the term by saying he was among the 90% of professional science fiction writers and editors who considered it a perjorative.

All of this predates the wave of political correctness. Among the things I consider offensive, this isn't one of them. I separated myself from the term because I was aware of the negative connotations. Perhaps I've socialized with science fiction writers too long.

I have to say that it surprises me that my recent posts on specific writers receive little comment except regarding this minor phrase and an earlier subject heading.

Richard Moore

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, DJ-Anonyme@... wrote:
> Richard wrote:
> ". . . sorry but the term "Sci-fi" is considered by some to be a
> pejorative . . ."
> I've heard this, but not being much of an SF reader, I've never
> understood why.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 26 Oct 2007 EDT