New Wave science fiction

Science Fiction and In Art the Sixties

“The New Wave is a movement in science fiction produced in the 1960s and 1970s and characterized by a high degree of experimentation, both in form and in content, a ‘literary’ or artistic sensibility, and a focus on ‘soft‘ as opposed to hard science. New Wave writers often saw themselves as part of the modernist tradition and sometimes mocked the traditions of pulp science fiction, which some of them regarded as stodgy, adolescent and poorly written. The New Wave science fiction of the 1960s emphasized stylistic experimentation and literary merit over scientific accuracy or prediction. It was conceived as a deliberate break from the traditions of pulp SF, which many of the writers involved considered irrelevant and unambitious. It was, according to academic Brian McHale, the edge of science fiction which ambitioned it to reach literary status, making it a case, among all of the arts, which were to constitute the emergence of postmodernism. The most prominent source of New Wave science fiction was the magazine New Worlds under the editorship of Michael Moorcock, who assumed the position in 1964. Moorcock sought to use the magazine to ‘define a new avant-garde role’ for science fiction by the use of ‘new literary techniques and modes of expression.’ It was also a period marked by the emergence of a greater variety of voices in science fiction, most notably the rise in the number of female writers, including Joanna Russ, Ursula K. Le Guin and James Tiptree, Jr.. The term ‘New Wave’ is borrowed from the French film movement the nouvelle vague. … New Wave writers began to look outside the traditional scope of science fiction for influence; some looked to the example of beat writer William S. Burroughs – New Wave authors Philip José Farmer and Barrington J. Bayley wrote pastiches of his work (‘The Jungle Rot Kid on the Nod’ and ‘The Four Colour Problem’, respectively), while J. G. Ballard published an admiring essay in an issue of New Worlds. Burroughs’ use of experimentation such as the cut-up technique and his appropriation of science fiction tropes in radical ways proved the extent to which prose fiction could prove revolutionary, and some New Wave writers sought to emulate this style. …”
The Rise of Science Fiction from Pulp Mags to Cyberpunk
W – Michael Moorcock
W – Dangerous Visions, W – New Worlds, W – The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, W – Galaxy Science Fiction

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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