It’s the one where SF geeks wring their hands over mainstream acceptance of their favorite genre. Please, please, please: Stop.
1. When the goddamned President of the United States makes Vulcan salutes and is photographed quite unselfconsciously whipping a lightsaber about on the White House lawn, you have won.
2. The POTUS being a geek aside, a genre that features hit television shows, movies with $150 million budgets and half a billion dollar worldwide grosses, endless videogame iterations and even — yes — bestselling books has mainstream acceptance, for Christ’s sake, and saying otherwise makes one look stupid. When science fiction types mew and barf about “mainstream acceptance,” they’re not usually not mewling and barfing about acceptance from the actual mainstream, but from other literature geeks, whom they feel have excluded them from their sekkrit lit geek clubs. These two things are not the same.
3. And as for these other lit geeks, come, now: We give a shit? Really? Because speaking as an actual science fiction writer, I don’t. Honestly, like I care that some other type of nerd doesn’t feel what I or others in my genre write is geeky enough in their preferred direction to count. When their general or specific disapprobation has a material effect on my ability to write or read as I please, you all let me know. Short of this: So what.
Every time I see the question of “mainstream acceptance” pop up, it reminds me that SF geeks, despite the many manifest signs and indications that we are living in a world they have spawned from their mighty intellectual loins, are yet still emotionally trapped in the high school cafeteria and the social dynamics thereof. SF geeks, I say to unto you: What’s the point of remaking the world in your image if you’ve not the wit to enjoy it? You’ve taken over huge tracts of the cultural map, and you get your underwear bunched up over the lit geeks? That’s a little OCD, don’t you think?
Please, red-shift yourself just a single step on the neurosis spectrum, learn not to care, and remember this phrase when someone declares your favorite reading/viewing/game-playing material not quite respectable enough: Oh, well. Nothing will annoy them more than the knowledge you can’t be bothered to worry about what they think.
And the next time the question of science fiction and “mainstream acceptance” comes up, remember this answer: Who gives a shit? Because, really. Who does. Like what you like, already.