The Postmodern Archipelago
by Michael Swanwick
Available Format(s): Chapbook
The publication of Michael Swanwick’s brilliant essay “A User’s Guide to the Postmoderns” sent shockwaves rippling through the science-fiction community. Not since the controversy surrounding the advent of the so-called New Wave writers of the 1960s and early 1970s had anyone dared to categorize science-fiction writers.
A work that was originally intended as an homage to illuminate the works of many of the younger writers in the field, “A User’s Guide” was vilified in numerous fanzine articles and convention panels. But Swanwick’s essay was not intended to generate controversy, and it remains popular , beyond the initial conflagration. It is a thoughtful and insightful look into the science-fiction field of the early to mid-1980s, an era that includes postmodernist writers, such as William Gibson, Kim Stanley Robinson, Bruce Sterling, and James Patrick Kelly.
“A User’s Guide to the Postmoderns” is published here for the first time since its initial magazine appearance in Asimov’s SF, as is Swanwick’s elegant essay on the fantasy genre, “In the Tradition…,” and an original introduction written by Swanwick for this publication.