To­tal Re­call

SFX - - News - Richard Ed­wards, Edi­tor

Edi­tor Rich dis­cusses the very core of our be­ing.

Yes, I know this feels like a no- brainer – the edi­tor of a mar­ket- lead­ing science fic­tion and fan­tasy mag­a­zine rav­ing about the thing that pays his wages. But this 20th an­niver­sary is­sue of SFX feels as good a time as any to sing the praises of the most ver­sa­tile, most ex­cit­ing, most vi­brant and most in­ven­tive genre on this – or ( I’m as­sum­ing) any other – planet. Sci- fi and fan­tasy are awe­some!

Sci- fi and fan­tasy fans may have spent years be­ing told they’re nerds, geeks, out­siders, what­ever, but I think we’re hav­ing the last laugh. Su­per­heroes are dom­i­nant at the box of­fice, while TV shows like Game Of Thrones, The Walk­ing Dead and Doc­tor Who con­sis­tently top the rat­ings. Why? The rest of the world has fi­nally re­alised the vast sto­ry­telling po­ten­tial of step­ping out­side con­ven­tional re­al­ity. They’ve seen that genre isn’t just about space­ships and strange crea­tures – though they’re still im­por­tant, of course – and that it can also be used to tell to­tally re­lat­able sto­ries. Af­ter all, as we’ve known for­ever, sci- fi and fan­tasy fre­quently tell us more about our con­tem­po­rary world than “con­ven­tional” fic­tion could ever dream of.

So if any­one says they don’t like sci- fi and/ or fan­tasy they’re ly­ing. Ask them if they like a bit of Lost, en­joy hang­ing out in Mid­dle- earth, or read the oc­ca­sional Terry Pratch­ett novel – chances are pretty much ev­ery­one has a bit of genre in their closet. They don’t have to like ev­ery­thing un­der that sci- fi um­brella, be­cause no­body should ex­pect to. Sci- fi is way too broad a church for that, tak­ing in mind- bend­ing com­plex­ity, gutwrench­ing emo­tion and – on oc­ca­sion – out­right hi­lar­ity.

It’s the genre of imag­i­na­tion, re­spon­si­ble for inspiring as­tro­nauts to travel into space, and in­ven­tors to de­velop the tech­nol­ogy that makes the mod­ern world go round. And we’re cur­rently living in one of the most ex­cit­ing times in sci- fi’s his­tory, where it’s high pro­file, ubiq­ui­tous, and the peo­ple mak­ing it – the Josses, JJs and Ge­orge RRs – love it as much as we do. They’re mak­ing such good stuff that it re­ally is a priv­i­lege to be writ­ing about a genre that can sur­prise, ex­cite and make you whoop for joy like no other. Give it an­other 20 years and scifi and fan­tasy re­ally will have taken over the world.

Yep, that’s the sort of thing we’ll hap­pily watch.

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