biologists of the Rubber Tube Gothic
To the extent that fiction could–or should–be said to have utility, scientific correctness is not the utility of science fiction. Unruly cultural metaphors and unhealthily exciting images are its core business. It is about jumping to uninformed conclusions. I’m not interested in the science per se. I’m only interested in what it can do for my imagination. This is the only pre-nup I will sign in regard to the proposal made here. Otherwise the marriage is off. Be honest, it was never on: science fiction is not science. It is not even science writing, except where science writers hitch their wagon to the summer’s gormless blockbuster. There is no shared project. Further, if science can critique the science in fiction, fiction can critique the fiction in science. I hear for instance that science is beginning to make fertile connections with other forms of popular and generic entertainment. Here’s the interesting result of a recent collaboration with a sub-genre of 1990s LitFic I know as Rubber Tube Gothic. I love the way in which apparently mad old ideas from the imaginary of the early Victorian period are taken up by the biologists to make a grotesque comment on contemporary anxieties around longevity and personal survival. I would unhesitatingly nominate these avenues of research for a World Fantasy Award. Chilling, brilliantly comic stuff, if not entirely my cup of tea.
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