Geoff Ryman and The Clarion West 2004 Class, “The Mundane Manifesto.”
A few weeks back I was speaking with George Purcell, or G. Carl Purcell, of No Slander podcast fame, about my reservations about science fiction–the usual story if how I “outgrew” science fiction, combined with my own annoyance, expressed that night in a piece I read, with the term “speculative ficti0n.” (What is it with me and hating on made-up genre terms? I still think lyrical essay as a term is silly, if you’re curious. Must take up with therapist.) Over beers, I think I said I especially hated science fiction of the distant planet and unicorn variety, and Mr. Purcell and his writing partner mentioned “mundane science fiction,” a movement founded by Geoff Ryman and his students and started with this manifesto. It’s still debated over in sci fi circles. It piqued my interest: I especially love manifestos in which I have no dog in the hunt, where I can focus instead on their prescriptiveness, audacious solutions and, above all else, confidence.
Shame on the internet for not having this online in any form. I looked around and there’s no reprinting of this anywhere, at least the whole thing.
Here’s “The Mundane Manifesto” in a shitty jpeg taken from a shitty xerox taken from an inter-library loan from Northern Illinois University.*
I’m going to make posting manifestos a semi-regular feature here: “Manifesto Mondays.” If you love a manifesto, or have one you have written (written, video, other) on any topic, send along to us at wwaatd[at]gmail.com, subject line “Manifesto Mondays.”