We, The Few

Oct 25, 23:01 by John Frost
On the state of science fiction in Israel.

(For the article itself: click here.)
Oct 27, 07:56 by maria velazquez
it's strange to read about the history of sci fi in israel and not to read any mention of the political turmoil in the country itself.
Oct 28, 04:38 by Lavie
Hmm, strange to read so much about American SF and not read about the political turmoil in the country itself.
Oct 29, 09:11 by Jeremiah Sturgill
Hmm... strange when analogies just don't work.

(Polymexina's question seems like a legitimate one to me, Lavie, and your objection even downright odder considering the editorial of this month's issue.)
Oct 30, 13:49 by Lavie
What, because John calls for more papers on politics - _because he doesn't get any_ - proves your point in some way?

One can write about politics and literature, and one can choose to write about one but not the other. As for the "political turmoil" mentioned by polymexina, this applies equally well to the US, but I don't see it mentioned in coverage of Worldcon, for example. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, the situation in America is extremely worrying, more so, I suspect, than what is happening in Israel at the moment.

I don't entirely disagree with you, you understand - my own slant on this would have included a political commentary, but that is because I am interested in that aspect of literature. I assume Guy, however, is more concerned with giving a clear, concise picture of the SF field in Israel, and I can't help but feel he had done so well.
Oct 30, 14:59 by Jeremiah Sturgill
Did you read the full editorial, Lavie? Let me provide some pertinent quotes:

Traditional science fiction has a left and a right... There are libertarians, militaristic conservatives, ecologically-aware conservationists, liberals, radicals.


Some of the masterpieces of the genre, such as Ursula K. LeGuin's The Dispossessed are enormously political works


And from political discourse, science fiction utilizes every tool in the literary toolbox to examine political possibility and reality. One need only think of Stanislaw Lem using the "safe" vehicle of space adventure to explore the absurdities of life in the Soviet bloc.


Politics has been a part of the cultural history of science fiction, as well as part of the literature.


See link to "A Political History of SF"

thus your statement:
Hmm, strange to read so much about American SF and not read about the political turmoil in the country itself.


seemed odd to me. There is a lot of information out and about relating american SF to politics (and, by extension, political turmoil).

I assume Guy, however, is more concerned with giving a clear, concise picture of the SF field in Israel, and I can't help but feel he had done so well.


I agree with you, and no one has said otherwise.

I would, however, have to disagree with you on this:
As far as the rest of the world is concerned, the situation in America is extremely worrying, more so, I suspect, than what is happening in Israel at the moment.


If for no other reason than the two (America and Israel) are very closely linked together, and the state of both have been worrying the western world for quite a long time. Regardless of severity of worrying, political and martial turmoil has been one of the defining characteristics of Israel from even before the country was founded.

Thus I cannot help but say, in my opinion, without attacking the article, that I too feel that it is strange to read about the history of sci fi in israel and not to read any mention of the political turmoil in the country itself.

So there were two problems with your first post: the analogy simply does not work, and your reply to polymexina read to me like a putdown. All he/she/it did was note the obvious: that politics were not addressed in the article.
Oct 30, 19:34 by John Frost
Wow, this is almost two flame wars in one month! We're rolling now!

In fact, it sounds like much of this debate is over perceived tone as much as anything, which is probably what more than half of internet disagreements are anyway.

Is it strange to have a history of science fiction in Israel without mention of political turmoil? Perhaps if Guy were discussing the fiction itself, the narrative and thematic nature of works by Israeli authors, it would be strange. It is often important to view fiction with some of the context within which it is written. But the focus of this article is very clear, and very specific: it is an account of certain people and certain publications. Unless politics -- or turmoil -- entered into that particular element of history, I don't think it strange at all.

In fact, I found it a rather refreshing reminder that Israel is not just west bank slaughter and suicide bombings. I think it is important to realize that people carry on perfectly normal, ordinary lives in Israel. Those of us in the United States undoubtedly get a distorted picture of what is going on due to the incessantly gloomy picture that makes international news.

I am sure there is much more to be written about genre fiction in Israel: it seems to be one of the hot spots of science fiction right now, along with Scotland, Australia, and perhaps others I am less familiar with. This is one article on one small part of the genre, perhaps people will write other articles that cover different elements of or aspects.

I am hoping we will have another article on Israeli sci-fi next month, one that covers a different aspect. But don't think I'm just interested in Israel: rather they seem interested in us! What IROSF publishes is very much a function of the submissions that come in and the contributions we can drum up. I love the international character that IROSF is beginning to hint at, but want to see that character expanded in both breadth and depth.
Oct 31, 08:39 by Dotan Dimet
What jf said.
A lot of the new SF written now and published in the magazines Guy mentions deals very heavily with themes such as military service, suicide bombings, etc. which are all related to what polymexina and your average foreign news correspondant would call "political turmoil".
For Israelis, of course, this isn't "political turmoil". It's an ubiquitous part of living in this country, one that colors the Israeli mentality in many different ways, and therefore something which can strongly distinguish Israeli SF from the American kind.
   

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