Science Fiction of Resitance: SF in the 60s and 70s #SciFiSunday

For some creators, works of science fiction are not attempts to predict the future. They are attempts to fight against the present, by vividly depicting the way our future might break free of established norms and imagine spaces for new identities. The New Wave movement of the 60s and 70s did just that. Here’s more from the Simmons College Library:

These decades are momentous ones in the history of science fiction as a whole. Some have described this period as one of rapid maturation for the genre. There was a drastic shift within science fiction at this time, which included expansions of subjects that were deemed acceptable (such as drugs, sex, homosexuality and various forms of radical politics), a rise in the focus on the “literary” aspects of a work, far more experimental works being written and a general reaction against the staid old standbys of the so-called “Golden Age” of the 40s. This change, and the authors responsible, have been grouped into the New Wave movement.

This opening of the genre to new voices and stories combined with the burgeoning women’s liberation movement to produce an upswell in FSF works being published in the late 60s and early 70s. In addition to more published works there was significant institutional support for FSF, as represented by the increase in feminist works being nominated for and awarded notable awards such as the Hugo and the Nebula. Authors such as Joanna Russ, James Tiptree jr, Ursula K Le Guin, Vonda Macintyre, Kate Wilhelm and Suzy McKee Charnas were heavily featured on awards lists. There was also significant discussion between authors and within the fandom about this rise in FSF. A great example of this is the Khatru Symposium on Women in Science Fiction linked below. This moment within SF is a unique one, never before or since has there been such a profusion of FSF being written or brought into the mainstream of SF.

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