(urth) Short Sun blog review

Craig Brewer cnbrewer at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 21 14:44:51 PDT 2010

I'm a bit confused by his summary:


Wolfe is a good writer but I wouldn't call his work literature so much
as eloquent, intriguingly convoluted post-new wave SF. Wolfe's
penchant for Melville-like parables and analogies exists within a pulp
continuum where faith in technology sits comfortably with faith in the
supernatural. Genre expectations are satisfied; the Ark we thought
irrevocably broken will be repaired to colonize yet another group of

I don't understand his distinction between "literature" and "genre" here. 
Because there's optimism about technology and optimism about faith, the books 
don't count as literature? So only cynical works count as literature? On the one 
hand, this seems to ignore the fact that there are all kinds of crises of faith 
and ambiguities about the cultural value of technology in the books, especially 
if the inhumi's "evolution" is considered technology from a different 
standpoint. But on the other hand, why does this just become "eloquent, 
intriguingly convoluted post-new wave SF" if it doesn't ultimately belittle 
technology and/or show that faith can't exist alongside that?

I just find the line of thought here particularly weird. It seems to come down 
to: I didn't like the books' take on the themes, so I won't value it with the 
term 'literature'.


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