Here’s an interview with author Scott Pruden about his book, “Immaculate Deception,” on the radio show called “Destinies: The Voice of Science Fiction.”
When I listened to this, it made me realize why I like the book so much. It’s got a real 1960s-era science fiction feel to it, And by that, I don’t mean some kind of self-conscious retro tone — as in space aliens with beehive hairdos and Nehru jackets.
It’s more in the overall approach of the book. See, I read a lot of 1960s-era science fiction when I was a kid back in the ’70s. That was an exciting time for the genre. It was starting to break free of its shackles as strictly a genre about laser guns and rocket ships. The writers at the time realized that the nature of science fiction — the ability to create entire worlds, entire histories — freed them up to explore ideas in a way the more staid dictates of mainstream fiction would not allow. Some of the stuff that arose from that movement was great. Some wasn’t so great. And some was just weird and confusing. But there was still an underlying excitement to all of it, even the ultimately unsuccessful experiments. It was an exhilarating experience, starting on a book or short story and having absolutely no idea where you’d end up.
Don’t get me wrong, There’s still plenty of great science fiction out there. But it seems to me the genre as a whole has become kind of a victim of its own success. It’s become simultaneously more mainstream and more insular. So much of it is locked into either offshoots of one franchise or another, or specific sub-genres such as steampunk — all in the interests of delivering what amounts to a processed product to a predetermined audience. All calculation. No exhilaration.
So that’s what I like about “Immaculate Deception.” It’s a well-written book. The plot hangs together, The characters act like real people. It’s not just a bunch of weirdness for the sake of weirdness. But it still has that wildly experimental flavor to it, which first turned me into a science fan back in the day.
See, the story’s about … Ah heck, just listen to the interview.