Hi Ben and Matt,
First of all, I swear I wrote my article on finding good SciFi before I listened to you podcast on fandom. The gist of my point in that blog is directly related to Ben’s points on fandom. Though I might quibble at some of the names he gave to his classes of story, for the moment I really can’t come up with anything better.
First, one thing to note that I don’t remember Ben mentioning though it was certainly implied. Very few great stories fall into just a single category. The Lord of the Rings, for example, is clearly in that epic category that deals with the big questions of life. That was what Tolkien intended. However, there are also strongly thematic elements as well as philosophical and even visceral elements. (But no allegory… Tolkien despised allegory 🙂 ) (more…)