Now I’m as happy as anyone to see Kevin Brockmeier getting his props, but why, why, why did Meghan O’Rourke feel the need to trot out her "authority" on science fiction? See for yourself:
Though The Brief History of the Dead may resemble science fiction, Brockmeier’s interests are very different from those that animate most science-fiction writers. Science fiction often tends toward allegorical tidiness (despite the alien quality of the landscape) or toward a fetishization of the alien. But like Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, this novel turns to sci-fi futurism to capture something about how foreign our near future might look to us.
Is it just me or does the verb animate in relation to science fiction writers imply that they are something less (or perhaps more?) than human? Grrr. The rest of it is fine as long as she realizes that these are BOTH SCIENCE FICTION NOVELS. (Because, as we all know, literary and SF aren’t mutually exclusive, nor are they solely defined by the section a book is shelved in.) She’d have been on solid(er) ground had she left out that whole resemble business. I say again: grrrr.
Then again, this is the same dolt who hated The Jane Austen Book Club.