May 23rd, 2005

wood cat

A Theorem of Genre

I propose the following theorem (with corollary) regarding discussion of science fiction as a genre.

(ETA: Now revised for clarity! Plus a tentative title, and a suggested additional theorem.)

Theorem of Science Fiction Denial:

If an artist makes a point of asserting that a creative work is not science fiction, then (1) the odds that the work is science fiction increase to a near-certainty, while (2) the odds that the work's science fiction elements (e.g., world-building, science) are good decrease dramatically. Nb.: the work as a whole may still have artistic merit.

Corollary:

If an artist makes a point of asserting that a creative work is not science fiction because "science fiction is X", then the statement "science fiction is X" is almost certainly wrong.

Proposed Theorem of Genre Denial:

Take the above theorem (and corollary), replace "science fiction" with "genre," and remove the parenthetical.

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