Friday, February 20, 2015

Beautiful Boys by Theodora Goss

8/100

This was a fun story.

How often have we seen a perfect human specimen; either in a magazine add, television or in public?  Sometime we shake our heads and mumble, "That person must be from another planet."

What if that is the case. 

There was an ease to the writing that allowed me to instantly relax into the story. 

I liked it.  But ...

Was it really science fiction?

Well, maybe.  (Up next - a mini rant.)

Science fiction has drifted so far away from its origins, for so many years, that the term is becoming difficult to pin down.

It is appropriate that Beautiful Boys was first published in Asimov's which has become the gold-standard magazine in genre blurring.  Asimov's had done more to damage Science Fiction than any other publication out there.  I have personally found that all they manage to do is confuse readers.

There is an old saying; "Good fences make good neighbours" (Most notably attributed to Robert Frost's poem, The Mending Wall.  This is also true of genre fiction - if you stay true to the tropes and characteristics of your particular corner of fiction you can create excellent stories.  Some genres blend exceedingly well together: Private Eye with SF comes immediately to mind but others don't.  Blending literary fiction (where plot is dirty word) does not mix well with SF and neither does fantasy.

One can argue that Star Wars is a blending of Fantasy and SF, what with swords, monsters and The Force.  Which, I guess is true, but it's the Science Fiction that ultimately dictates the world.  It is filled with space, planets, star-ships and technology.

Years ago, The Twilight Zone created it's own niche by blending genres. Call it Weird fiction.  Beautiful Boys, while very good, belongs in the Weird category.

You can find Theodora Goss here:  http://theodoragoss.com/

Lightspeed Magazine can be found here:  http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/

Asimov's Magazine can be found here:  http://www.asimovs.com/

Theodora Goss
Asimov's August 2012




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