Alright, this is going to be a short post, but I am hoping it might generate some discussion.
At Fantasycon this afternoon I listened to a talk with Peter F Hamilton, who was asked his opinion on whether science fiction is actually dying.
His response is that it is not so much dying as diversification. Alright, "space science fiction" is becoming rather a lost art, with Hamilton and Alastair Reynolds two of those who are pushing it forwards. However, science fiction is embracing as diverse authors in terms of subject as Chris Wooding, Ian McDonald and Tony Ballantyne. All science fiction authors; all writing very different types of science fiction.
What struck me is that the same could be said for fantasy. Epic fantasy in its traditional form is fading. We no longer see the Tolkien clones. Instead fantasy has been diversifying for many years. Have we ever said that fantasy is dying? Or have we reached out to all those authors writing fantasy - from China Mieville, to Joe Abercrombie, to Brandon Sanderson - and included them under the same banner.
Why is it that science fiction is said to be dying (by some) but fantasy doesn't receive the same criticism, when both genres are merely following the same path of allowing different aspects of SF/F to be included?