Genre, SF & the Cradle of Ideas

I like all genres, no, wait, I love all genres and often squange them together in the same book; The Eyre Affair I regard as a station with a lot of different trains—arrive on romance, and leave on alternative history. The thing is, Speculative Fiction—alright, there, I’ve done it, I’ve labelled myself —is a cradle, a nursery of fresh ideas. It’s the sandbox of the literary world, the place where new concepts are born, where the cross-fertilization of worn tropes give rise to exciting new possibilities. We take ideas, we experiment, we run with them, we have fun. Some are dead ends, but others grow and bare fruit—often in other writer’s heads. For yes, Speculative Fiction is a gregarious beast, and engages freely with other authors. The themes and ideas that I and my fellow speculators write now may lead onto much better books by more talented authors ten years from now.

— Jasper Fforde, “Genre, Speculative Fiction and the Cradle of Ideas”

read the full article at Locus Online