An insider's guide to SF for insiders

My new review of Strange Horizons' fiction is now up at The Fix, and in the review I discuss why science fiction is so often written for SF insiders. As I say in the review,

It’s not that we don’t like readers. After all, every literary genre lives only through the graces of that genre’s readers. The problem for science fiction writers, however, comes in explaining to the general public many of our genre’s current insights—concepts such as the singularity, neural downloads, nanotechnology, ansibles, and so on. While all these concepts are well known to science fiction insiders, they can easily confuse people who don’t continually immerse themselves in the genre. So every time science fiction authors write a story, they have to decide how much explanation they’re willing to give for ideas which their biggest fans are likely already familiar.

The result is a chasm between science fiction which is accessible to the general reading public and that which can only be appreciated by science fiction insiders.

So what's the solution? I'm not sure. But unless SF can gain new readers, it risks become inbred. And like anything that becomes too inbred, extinction is the end result.