The awarded and lauded science-fiction writer Charlie Stross has an interesting post on his weblog: "Genre Neurosis 101."
The central thesis of the post (and do read the debate in the Comments section) is that after the terrorist attacks on the U.S. on September 11, 2001, American Science Fiction lost some (or much?) of its previous optimism about the future.
"This turning away from the near future is going to be remembered as one of the hallmarks of the post-9/11 decade in American science fiction, as the chill wind of change blows through the hitherto cosy drawing room of the American century.
"The Brits aren't drinking the Kool-Aid — well, some of them are serving it up in pint glasses, but most of them have got better things to do with their time — and this is why just about all the reviewers in the field are yammering about a British Invasion or a British New Wave or something: it's not what the British are doing, but what the American writers aren't doing that is interesting. "
Read the rest.
What about countries that are not only lacking in optimism, but have none at all? Are there any active SF writers in, say, Iraq? (Or North Korea? Or Sudan?) I'd love to learn about people who try to write science fiction in the countries where you'd least expect it...