Nebula Awards: “International SF” and Problems of Identity

Nebula logoOur sister site, has an essay by Larry Nolan on “International SF” and Problems of Identity

We live in a world that increasingly is not defined by national borders.  Depending on where one goes, one can hear “Me encanta,” “Ich liebe es,” or “Love ko ‘to” whenever a McDonald’s jingo plays on the radio or television.  Levi’s, the quintessential American blue jeans, are not made in the United States anymore, but in factories across the globe.  Watch many of the “Adult Swim” shows on the Cartoon Network in the US and one is bound to find Japanese anime-influenced animation.  In some ways, the “global village” espoused by Hillary Clinton and others over the past two decades has come to fruition.

But what about Science Fiction?  Why is there such a buzz happening now, over two decades after many other pop cultural trends, for “international” SF?  What has taken so long for a literary/cultural mode to catch up?  These questions may be nigh impossible to address adequately in a short article, but they do bear some consideration, especially as we move toward potential conflicts within and outside the various “international” groups of SF writers and fans.