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An alliance of Nudniks, Realism Fetishists, and Socialists turned sci-fi into a dreary, unheroic, sterile genre.

Nudniks: SF should teach REAL science, and shouldn’t have unscientific physical laws or technology. Action and adventure destroy the true mission of SF. Killjoys. 1/?
Realism fetishists: If something is un-realistic, it is false and therefore wrong and bad. Stories should have realistic science and technology. If they don’t, it’s bad science in the science fiction.

Socialists: We Love The Science. The future is scientists and science and rationality. Religion is irrational, traditional morality and tradition are irrational, Capitalism is irrational, and sci-fi should not only reject, but mock and undercut these at every opportunity.

These kinds of people had always been part of SF readership—editors in chief of pre-1937 mags occasionally published whole letters columns filled with their complaints, just to tell them to lighten up—but in the late 1930's their outlook became the dominant one in the genre.

Realism Fetishists can't stand, and get angry at, larger than life characters, because they aren't realistic. Even though people like that exist in the real world, they "aren't realistic".

Same for anything extraordinary. Strictly plausible events at all times.

Looking at the killjoys, the commies, and the realism fetishists, it's easy to see why they kicked Fantasy to the curb. It didn't lead to a classless, moneyless, Technocratic future, it wasn't Realistic, and it was too darned concerned with fun and excitement and adventure.

Reality Fetishists are obsessive and irrational people. You can have a scene like the absolutely historic events that gave Audie Murphy his Medal of Honor, and they'll get angry because it "isn’t realistic".

IOW, they fetishize realism, and prize mundanity, and anything extraordinary is verboten.

This artistic movement even has a NAME. It’s called Literary Realism.

So yes, I’m talking about a specific group of people who gained influence in F&SF at a specific moment in time.

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