Bascomb James: "The hallmark of the Grand Tradition story was that it was fun to read. Grand Tradition stories were pure entertainment; they were adventure stories that were found nowhere else. Grand Tradition stories were written in every SF motif (horror, noir, pulp fiction, first contact, spaceship, alien invaders/visitors, political intrigue, hard science fiction, etc.) and they embraced all of the familiar SF tropes. Grand Tradition stories often included social/political commentaries and they opened windows on worlds we could not otherwise see, but these elements were part of the subtext. The foreground story was the adventure, the wonder, the delightful romp through a strange and wondrous universe.
Somewhere along the way, a derisive public wrote off Grand Tradition SF as mere escapism – as if escapism was something unsavory. Fun stories – stories written for entertainment – became childish indulgences in an increasingly tight-sphinctered world. In her open letter to SF, Elizabeth Bear asks why “[SF seems] to think that nothing fun can have value.” I agree with her completely. Mind you, I am not advocating a return to the days of schlocky pulp fiction, but even the most serious and dedicated science fiction fan wants to have a little fun now and then... [Read more at Fantasy Cafe]
Kat Otis: I blame my interest in Science Fiction on my parents and their basement full of Star Trek books. I never realized how much those books shaped my view of the world until college, when one of my math professors made an offhand reference to the Kobayashi Maru... and I was the only one who recognized it! [Read more at Good Choice Reading]
What was your inspiration for creating, "Spaceman Barbecue," your Far Orbit story?
Peter Wood: I love space opera. I have read it, watched it on television and listened to it on old radio shows like X Minus One. I guess the story is based on some of the square-jawed hreoes of those pulp classics. What would happen if one of them stumbled into our world? And, if that traveler is really lucky, he might stumble across some North Carolina barbecue. The best barbecue in the world, by the way, is Wilbur's in Goldsboro, North Carolina... [Read more at Speculative Book Review]
What was your inspiration for creating your Far Orbit story, "The Vringla/Racket Incident"?
Jakob Drud: The story first came to life in my mind when I started considering how and why a childcare provider would oversell their services. The answer turned out to be "incidents involving alien babysitters"... [Read more at Good Choice Reading]
Eric Choi: As an aerospace engineer who has worked on a number of real space missions like the Phoenix Mars Lander, I guess you can say some parts of my life are a bit like a science fiction story, so why not write about it? There have always been important linkages between science fiction and the real-life space program. Our knowledge of the Universe, our attitudes towards science, and our understanding of science and technology are some of the key influences to science fiction. In turn, science fiction has helped shape perceptions of the space program, in some cases influencing the politics and funding of space projects and even the design of the missions themselves, as well as inspiring people like me to pursue careers in engineering and science... [Read more at AerospaceWriter.ca]
What is it about this genre that appeals to you?
Barbara Davies: Unlike other genres, Science Fiction has no limits other than the writer's imagination and... sometimes... the laws of physics... [Read more at Speculative Book Review]
What appeals to you about science fiction?
Johnathan Shipley: I enjoy the space opera aspects of science fiction -- clash of cultures, political intrigue, rise and fall of empires -- but brought to a personal scale... [Read more at Speculative Book Review]