A new lit crit term no one really needs: Bombastoroman

For years, my writing workshop, the Cambridge Science Fiction Writers Workshop (usually abbreviated CSFW) has tolerated my somewhat overexcited manner of critique. This style wouldn’t fly everywhere. Sometimes I get a little too excited. Still, the workshop has functioned for decades. I like to think my injection of energy has something to do with that.

James Cambias submitted a story to the last workshop that was a kind of bonsai or haiku version of one of those gigantic multidecker hard SF novels, full of adventure, weird species, gigantic artifacts, and deranged speculation.  Only his was a few thousand words long, fun and tight.

A Bildungsroman, staple of college lit courses, is a novel of education, of growing up, of learning who you are.  What is the hard SF novel series about uncovering the truth about the universe, and understanding what we are as a species?  The Bombastoroman!

OK, so maybe I'm revealing my true literary colors here. I feel that, increasingly, SF is too long. And this is true no matter what length we're discussing.  The stories are too long, the novellas are too long, and the novels are too long.  The Bombastoroman rules all.

You heard it here first.