I love listening to the old authors of speculative fiction. In this way I came upon a 1976 interview of Harlan Ellison describing why he is not a science fiction writer. He thinks his work doesn’t actually fit that label, and I think he’s probably right.
Sure, many of his fiction works fall into science, but others have fantasy elements or are simply real world fiction. It isn’t so simple as saying “this guy was a sci-fi writer.”
There’s much to learn from Ellison’s philosophy of writing, and I think his idea of genre is especially useful. However, if you’re a new author looking to get published, having a clearly defined genre may be more useful. It’s debatable.
Here’s the interview, at the appropriate part. I’d recommend the entire interview if you have the time!
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