In this way I’m not entirely unsympathetic to the Mundane Manifesto: I just feel that it is incapable of producing ‘better’ science fiction. It will not reinvigorate the genre. Science fiction is an imaginative literature, not a realist one. Much of its strength and power lies in its ability to mythologise – the Manifesto condemns as stupidities many of the genre’s most powerful myths: the alien, time-travel, the artificial intelligence made in our own image.Ian McDonald
But before you go and read everyone else’s manifestos, we thought we should set out our own. After all, although you may recognise our names from the reviews sections of this magazine and Matrix, we’re still relative newcomers to the BSFA, and we’re only just joining the Vector editorial team with this issue, following in the illustrious footsteps of Andrew M. Butler, under whose guidance Vector was the sort of magazine we discovered we wanted to read – and edit.Niall Harrison & Geneva Melzack
Moorcock also had a theory about the uses of prose itself, too complex to go too deeply into here or even in his introduction to the anthology. Briefly, rather than being confined to ‘transparent’ narration of the surface phenomenology of the story, the prose line could skip allusively along its surface or swim in the iconographic and archetypal imagery beneath it, rather in the manner of poetry. Which perhaps was why the magazine paid serious attention to serious poetry, too.Norman Spinrad
I blew up the plums
which were in the icebox
and which you were probably savingMeghan McCarron
Reading ‘Amnesty’ recalls for me every traumatic and wonderful Butler book I’ve read, and reminds me, again, of how much reading Butler has changed my view of my world and my place in it. What changed me was Butler forcing me to root for characters who didn’t stand up for their rights (because it would have gotten them killed) but rather compromised out of necessity. She forced me to look at myself, at my often silly insistence upon abstract rights in the face of daily, unbearable, soul-destroying compromise. Would I be able to be a slave? Could I do what was necessary to save not only myself but my entire community? What would I do in a situation in which I had no good choices?Claire Light
Note: Marked 2005 on cover.