In The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction famous F/SF academic/critic/writer Farah Mendlesohn writes: " ...sf is a discussion or a mode, and not a genre." and "...the reading of a science fiction story is always an active process of translation..." This is because "Cognitive estrangement is tied inextricably to the encoded nature of sf: to style, lexical invention and embedding. Cognitive estrangement is the sense that something in the fictive world is dissonant with the reader's experienced world."
And "...effectiveness in creating dissonance relies on the expectation that the reader will either understand what is written or will fill in the gap, creating meaning where none is provided. These two techniques are crucial to the sf project and they are cummulative. Science fiction has come to rely on the evolution of a vocabulary, of a structure and a set of shared ideas which are deeply embedded in the genre's psyche."
Wow. Do you agree? Disagree?
Send us your stories. Let's fill in the gap... let's create the genre's psyche together. ;)