Science fiction seems to have faded. At least, when I go to a library, or a bookstore, or more likely browse the Amazon Kindle library, I find a lot more good, really original fantasy being put out by new names and in modern times than I do science fiction. I can’t claim to know why this might be, but I do know that it hasn’t always been this way; my dad has often said that when he was younger it was the opposite, with fantasy in a kind of rut, and science fiction the blossoming flower. This present situation is perhaps why I find that I read today much for fantasy than I do science fiction, which is really shame, since every time that I pick up one of these older science fiction novels I invariably enjoy it.
I've seen a lot of commencement addresses for the class of 2020 recently, an outpouring of advice prompted by the lack of a more traditional ceremony because of the coronavirus-related lock-downs. If we're being completely, brutally honest, most of them have similar themes, and say similar things, and convey similar messages, whether they're from a celebrity, a political figure, or a businessman. I generally skim through a few of these as I'm reading the newspaper, but one title, or rather subtitle, caught my eye. It didn't catch my eye for being resonant with me, but rather because it was so completely contrary to any advice I would ever give anyone, if I were in any way qualified to give someone advice. It was talking about the important of letting go of myths of greatness.