“Science Fiction Ideas” by Tao Lin
Reviewed by Ryan Holmes
“Science Fiction Ideas” by Tao Lin is aptly named. Boiled down to one sentence, this is a tortuous amalgamation of disjointed clauses about two friends sharing their science fiction ideas to each other in October of 2042. Terraform, a publication whose apparent goal is to further muddle what constitutes science fiction by encouraging authors to explore ‘cross-genre experiments,’ calls this Frankenstein’s monster of jargon a ‘slice of druggy mundanity.’ I think they were trying too hard to be flattering. Tao Lin swallowed four undeveloped SF ideas and regurgitated what didn’t digest into this bile. It fails on many levels. It doesn’t transport the reader. It doesn’t develop a character. It generates no emotion of wonder. It doesn’t present an argument or a conflict. Yet it got published. Why? Two reasons: we fear what we don’t understand, and we label literature that makes no damn sense brilliant.
Ryan Holmes is a Marine Corps grunt turned aerospace engineer for NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and writes science fiction and fantasy in life’s scant margins. You can find his blog at: www.griffinsquill.blogspot.com