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New Wave (science fiction)

During the 1960s a number of science fiction authors began writing more experimental works than was usual in the genre: imagistic, highly metaphoric stories, inclined more towards psychology and the soft sciences than to hard SF.

This movement was perhaps stronger in Great Britain, where Michael Moorcock had taken over the editorship of the magazine New Worlds Science Fiction, serialising Norman Spinrad's `Bug Jack Barron', notable for being the first science fiction novel to be condemned in the UK Parliament. The New Wave movement was not restricted to the UK though, and there were new wave authors in the USA as well.

The New Wave movement started to explore many subjects, including sex in science fiction in ways that were previously unthinkable. Harlan Ellison's anthology Dangerous Visions was an important milestone in the development of the New Wave.

Important New Wave authors include Brian Aldiss, J.G. Ballard, Thomas Disch, M. John Harrison, Roger Zelazny, and Moorcock himself.

Precursors of New Wave might be considered to be Ray Bradbury and Alfred Bester.

(The term "New Wave" is borrowed from film criticism's nouvelle vague: films characterised by the work of Jean-Luc Goddard, François Truffaut, and others. It was later applied to 1970s punk rock in the UK and to new wave music.)\n