The Tyee has published my article Rise Up from Science Fiction Monoculture! It's a review of several new books and discusses writers I think are saving the genre. Excerpt:
As a free-range kid over 60 years ago, I liked to go down to the Thieves' Market in Mexico City on Sundays. A smart 12-year-old shopper could come home with a once-functional six-gun -- or reasonably recent copies of American pulp magazines like Thrilling Wonder Stories and Startling Stories.
My parents imposed a disarmament program, but the magazines stayed. Despite their lurid artwork and clunky prose, I fell in love with the ideas they dramatized. Science fiction and fantasy inspired me to write the same kind of pulp, and to keep at it until I'd published almost a dozen novels of my own.
Then science fiction and fantasy became industries; Tolkien rip-offs competed with novels of interstellar war based on the U.S. Navy in the Second World War. Star Wars and Star Trek became invasive species, turning the vast ecosystems of 1950s science fiction into dreary monocultures. Don't get me going about Game of Thrones.
I stopped writing science fiction and largely stopped reading it. Then economist and science fiction junkie Paul Krugman mentioned a British novelist named Charles Stross, a prolific writer of both science fiction and fantasy. Stross's extraordinary novels taught me that I was lucky to have got out of the business when I did, because I sure couldn't have competed with him.