Ack! Vernor Vinge has done it again! His Hugo award-winning novella Fast Times at Fairmont High is not merely an excellent story (what else would you expect from the Vingester?) but it throws out some wonderful ideas about the future of entertainment and the singularity.
The quality of SF writing has increased drastically recently, in my opinion, but I don’t think that the generation of truly new ideas is any faster than it ever was before. Although it’s not the central point of Vinge’s novella, his idea that entertainment companies will merely provide the ‘seeds’ for movie properties and let everyone else create the content and be actors is not something that I’ve heard before – and certainly not articulated as well as he puts it.
I was lucky enough to get Fast Times for free while it was still a Hugo nominee – now you have to pay to download it – but it’s definitely worth reading. Alternatively, you could wait for it to come out in one of the Dozois SF collections later on this year – I can’t see how it could be excluded (except for silly legal reasons).