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Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 11:15:34 -0700 (PDT)
From: Craig Brewer 
Subject: Re: (urth) Generic Considerations

More musings: If you've never read it, I highly
suggest Samuel R. Delany's "The Jewel Hinged Jaw." I
don't know if it's still in print or not, but he has a
fascinating discussion of what makes even a single
sentence "science fictioned" rather than
"mainstreamed." He has a wonderful reading of the
single sentence "The red sun is high, the blue low" in
which he explains how sf forces the reader the create
his image of the world of the story, not necessarily
from the ground up, by taking the stock of meanings
and expectations we normally have and rearranging them
in new and unexpected ways.

We could argue about whether such a method is distinct
to sf (I doubt that it is), but it's always been a
helpful discussion for me to think of sf as a
rearrangement of expectations/meanings which, real or
not, I've just become used to. The idea that each word
corrects my previous image has always been compelling.
Delany puts it this way: "A 60,000 word novel is one
picture corrected 59,999 times." A catchy phrase.

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