Hard SF & Space Opera Spillover
We Need a Broader Discussion of Genre Boundaries

Bees Replacing Birds and Other Boundary Crossings

Peter called me outside to see what he thought was the beak of a baby bird peeking out of one of our birdhouses. In past years, wrens have inhabited that birdhouse and raised families there. A week or two ago, I'd seen movement and presumed it was a baby bird.

Closer inspection revealed that this year's inhabitants are fuzzy bees. The look somewhat like small bumble bees and they've made some kind of web over the opening of the birdhouse. They don't seem to be aggressive.

Out in the yard, we compared differently shaped leaf galls from different kinds of leaves: some were long and thin (on brown birches); some conical (on witch hazel), others, on a tree I don't know the name of, were round. Elizabeth swang happily in the baby swing while Peter and I discovered a species of small bright red slightly lumpy beetles, and bright green caterpillars that had wrapped themselves in leaves.

I've been thinking about the discussions of genre boundaries in the New Weird discussion and the Samuel R. Delany quote below (in the previous post) and it occured to me that, although I would phrase it differently, I agree with Delany. I like genre boundaries. Not only do I like what can be done with then aestheically (as I said in the New Weird discussion):

I love genre boundaries, not because I think writers should obediently write inside them, but because it is so interesting to see what writer do to get over, under, around, or through. To me, the most interesting writing is constantly in dialog with whatever the writer perceives are the conventions of the genre(s) with which he or she works.

. . . but, after some consideration of Delany's point, I agree that there is real virtue in the container as such and the conversation or game which defines it. (And I do view genre sociologically as a form of game.) I like the science fiction field and the genre associated with it. I like the vibrancy and richness of its discourse.