Bewildering Stories

Our readers write...

Kevin Ahearn

writes to Thomas R. care of Bewildering Stories


Thanks for the reaction to my letter on SFW. The more ink we can generate on published, rather than filmed, science fiction the better. My problem with Bova and so many of his ilk is that they show no growth. It’s as if reality has passed science fiction by. Moreover, they reinforce the widely accepted notion that science fiction is about UFO’s, space aliens and that Star Trek stuff. Of course, worst of all, is the gradual evolution of science fiction into “sci-fi entertainment,” the genre that dominates the SFC and its website.

My argument is not there isn’t good sf out there, but that sf is now thought of as written only by sf writers only for sf fans. I find the notion that sf can no longer stun the world as tragic, but the sf world we used to know and love has been taken over by the “sci-fi entertainment” community. “Pass the remote, please.”

Kevin Ahearn

Copyright © 2003 by Kevin Ahearn

Thanks for your thought-provoking observations, Kevin. They raise a question: to what extent has modern culture — in television, film and print — become fragmented and compartmentalized? Popular culture used to give people common topics of conversation. Now only sports seem to do that, and don’t even they seem to be going the same way as literature? On the other hand, I saw a supermarket tabloid headline that read: “Space-Alien Sitcoms Are Worse Than Ours!” I was sorely tempted to buy that tabloid.

John Thiel


Believe me, I never miss a free weekly issue of BWS. It’s on my Monday reading list.

In reference to Jerry’s editorial, I’ve had some sci-fi sites try to download scripts on me. PLANET ZI is an example; apparently a computer is too sedate and long-range an objective for them, and they want direct contact. I turned down all the scripts, though, as the game they were playing bored me.

BWS, it seems to me, has and examines the concept that Man is capable of doing nothing at all and if he manages to achieve the building of a computer system, the computer told him how to do it. Matter cannot be transcended, or if it can be, it can’t be transcended very much. Ergo man scarcely exists; but BWS does exist and that can be demonstrated and is apparent.

Now as to the exhortation to be great, the groundwork exists for being that at BWS. “Let’s be great” isn’t as facetious as it sounds at first look-- whether it achieves or not, BWS is SOMETHING, something that wasn’t there before and is there now.

Isn’t a “slush pile” a collection of dampened radioactive material?


John Thiel

Copyright © 2003 by John Thiel

Thank you, John! We’re always glad to hear from you. All our readers are invited to send us feedback. We’ll continue to strive to reach critical mass at Bewildering Stories.

Copyright © 2003 by Bewildering Stories

Home Page