Final Staff

Editor-in-Chief:
Stacey Janssen

Managing Editor:
Dave Noonan

Editors

  • Mishell Baker
  • Bluejack
  • Amy Goldschlager
  • Emily Lupton
  • R. K. MacPherson
  • Scott James Magner
  • Robin Shantz

Copy Editors

  • Sarah L. Edwards
  • Yoon Ha Lee
  • Sherry D. Ramsey
  • Rena Saimoto
  • Paula Stiles

Editors-at-Large

  • Marti McKenna
  • Bridget McKenna

Publicity

  • Geb Brown

Publisher: Bluejack

June, 2006 : Editorial:

The Living and the Dead

Many of us think of Science Fiction as a young literary form, still vibrant with the flush of new ideas and optimism about what stories can do. Even the most brutal, gloomy, nihilistic distopia can still thrill with bright new language, vivid ideas, and a genuine love of busting out of the storytelling box. I don't necessarily refer to avant-garde post-narrative constructions that aren't even recognizable as stories—we like to leave that to the academic mainstream. I mean finding new things to do with stories!

But Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror—the speculative fiction trio—are not really all that young anymore. They're getting to that age where many of their best friends are passing on. Sure there are a few younger generations at the height of their powers keeping the community young and full of good raw energy. But it seems like not a month goes by without some sad news filtering in.

This is not a surprise revelation, I realize.

Most people probably knew that the form wasn't young anymore way back in the sixties, when "New Wave" writers felt the need to rebel against the elder generations. Or maybe when that patriarch of the golden age, John W. Campbell, died in '71. It may have come home in a more personal way to most readers when Heinlein and Asimov died ('88 and '92).

But these days the ranks of First Fandom are thinning, and some of the great names of even the New Wave are starting to show up with a year to the right of the dash in their biographies.

Science Fiction has documented itself pretty well, so we don't need to rely on oral tradition to remember what things were like back in the pulp era, or in the New York clubhouses of the Futurians, or at the early conventions...but that era is slipping away from living memory.

The Internet Review of Science Fiction, perhaps belatedly, is introducing what we hope will not be a monthly feature, the obituary column. We began this unofficially back in March with Steven Barnes' eulogy to Octavia Butler, but now we're making it official.

We are extraordinarily fortunate to have Kristine Kathryn Rusch's sensitive memories of Robert Sheckley as our first formal obituary in IROSF. While it is true that Mr. Sheckley died in December, we generally consider significance to be more important than timeliness.

The goal of this column is to remember the most important contributors to the field with articles by those who knew them well. This is an opportunity for reader participation, however, as your editors may not always know who knew them well. For example: a couple of months ago one of my personal favorites, Stanislaw Lem, passed away. If you have an idea as to who might be well qualified to speak of Lem's life and works, please speak up in the forums.

Of course, remembering people after they are gone is important, but so is celebrating the new and the active. On that front, I think you will find the current issue bursting with life.


Copyright © 2006, Bluejack. All Rights Reserved.

About Bluejack

Bluejack resides in Seattle. In addition to publishing the Internet Review of Science Fiction, he herds cats for an Internet startup, designs and develops distributed software applications, and dabbles in a broad range of less useful endeavors.

COMMENTS!

Jun 5, 20:59 by IROSF

Pretty big issue this month! Feel free to discuss the issue as a whole right here.
Jun 6, 12:56 by Michael Bishop
You might want to approach George Zebrowski about writing a column on Stanislaw Lem.
Jun 6, 14:32 by Bluejack
Thanks for the tip!
Jun 6, 23:25 by Bluejack
FYI: Other people who have been mentioned as being close to Stanislaw Lem are: Bruce Gillespie and Franz Rottensteiner. I don't know if we'll really pull this together, but it's always amazing to me how the interconnectedness of the community works.

Sometimes, the science fiction world is like a big brain in which the most relevant nodes find each other and connect quickly. Whether they get off their fat butts and do something useful, of course, remains up to the body, but the way the brain works is pretty impressive!
Jun 7, 14:44 by Jim Van Pelt
Hi, Bluejack. Just thought I'd drop you a note to let you know how much I appreciate your continued work on IROSF. I look forward to the e-mail each month announcing the new issue.
Jun 10, 12:57 by Bluejack
Thanks Jim, obviously, it's not "my" work -- the writers are doing the best work, and the other editors are doing an enormous amount of work -- but I know you mean "you" in the plural there.

It's great to get the feedback! Thanks!
Jul 2, 15:43 by Bluejack
FYI: with regard to the July issue, looks like we're going to hold off publication until Monday the 10th... fourth of july weekend and all that.

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