The following text is an excerpt from Bruce Gillespie's review of John Foyster's impact as an sf critic. If you wish to read the full article, please subscribe to edition 46.
Why speak about a period in the history of science fiction in Australia, especially a period in the mid to late sixties and early seventies before some people in this room were born?
First, because events in science fiction today in Australia in many ways are a direct result of events in that far-off era. In 1966, John Foyster began a range of activities in Australian SF that led to the holding of the first Australian World Convention in Melbourne in 1975, and that in turn generated the vast ripple of SF enthusiasm that has spread out continually during the last twenty years.
Second, because one of the most important events of the late sixties — the rise of SF criticism in Australia — has become very reduced in importance since the 1970s. Most SF activity today in Australia is devoted to the writing and publishing of science fiction itself, not reviews and criticism of the field. Thirty years ago, the opposite was true. We had a few writers, some of whom had a little bit of success. Our SF critics were known throughout the world, and John Foyster was one of the best known of them. Today, Britain is the hotbed of SF criticism, and Australia has slipped behind. In losing John Foyster in 2003, we lost one of the great leaders in our field here. I want to give some idea of what he achieved.
The full article can be found in Edition 46 of Science Fiction.
Article copyright (c) 2009 Bruce Gillespie.