Book Review: Invaders turns a bevy of acclaimed literary authors loose on science fiction

In his introduction to Invaders, a broad and thoughtful collection of science fiction stories, editor Jacob Weisman strikes an unnecessarily defensive tone. Because his assortment of writers are known more for traditional literary fare than genre labels like “sci-fi,” Weisman tries to anticipate and deflect criticism (which he apparently received for a similar earlier volume) that these writers are moonlighting in a field in which they possess no deep understanding. “The implication here… is that these other writers, writing without the necessary history of the genre, were somehow off the mark or ignorantly reinventing old tropes.” The question of what constitutes science fiction and fantasy, as he rightly notes, is often largely a question of “markets and reader expectations.” The cross-breeding of genres and labels, and the art contained therein, may be regarded by die-hards with suspicion, but it’s hard to imagine it being anything but a useful contribution …

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