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.