Earlier this week I had a wonderful interview with a professor that teaches classes in science fiction. In my interview with her I asked “how do you define science fiction?.” I didn’t expect the answer I got. She told me there were over 20 definitions of science fiction and she didn’t have one. She told me that that was with reason, She wanted to keep it open rather then restraining what her students though of the genera with a definition.
This makes since, but it complicates maters. How can I study something when I don’t even have a definition of it. Do I create a working definition of us? Do I put a stake down and go, this is the definition I am going with?
I was trained in anthropology, and a good anthropologist goes in without a definition, without a stake in the ground. “Delay judgment,” we were told over and over again. In design we were told to delay your conclusion. So that is what I am going to do, I am going to keep heading into the storm and see what I can see.