N.K. Jemisin and Ann Leckie on What Makes a Classic Work of SFF and New Classics

NYCC 2017 New Classics of SFF Ann Leckie N.K. Jemisin

“One of the markers of [the] current age is that we’re starting to talk about who sets the classics,” The Stone Sky author N.K. Jemisin said at NYCC’s recent panel The New Classics of SFF. In response to moderator Petra Mayer’s (from NPR Books) opening question—what makes a classic work of SFF?—Jemisin explained that having conversations about whose stories are central helps to expand what constitutes the canon of science fiction and fantasy works. The notion of a canon was Provenance author Ann Leckie’s contribution, likening it to her study of the classical canon of music in college. But where she received her training from one or two handpicked textbooks, today’s readers have the internet, which allows for so many conversations to be seen simultaneously. Leckie made the argument that there is no longer “a single list of canonical classics, but a bunch of intersecting and interpenetrating lists....