I was asked today why I use the term SciFi--as in my posts about SciFi Strange--when "most" people in the science fiction community find the term derogatory. That was a bit of a shocker to me. I mean, I understand the history of all this. That SciFi was once used to put down the genre for perceived low-quality and cliched literature, and that's why many writers and others use the shorthand of SF. But to me, that's an ancient battle which is over and done.
I personally like the term and use it quite a bit. I also like the term SF, but that lends itself to an imprecise meaning since SF can also refer to speculative fiction. When I want to specifically reference science fiction, I use SciFi.
I also believe SciFi works better as a marketing tool than SF, as demonstrated by the success of the SciFi Essentials book program. In fact, that's why the SciFi Channel's much mocked move into Syfy land was so wrong-headed. Their original name resonated because people immediately understood it. It's also why readers responded to the SciFi Essentials book program. Readers weren't buying those books merely because they were slapped with the logo of a cable channel--readers responded to the books being labeled as essential science fiction reading.
Am I wrong here?
UPDATE: It appears I am wrong. A number of people contacted me via Twitter or email to say that they either dislike SciFi or avoid its use because it ticks people off. Most of this later group said they personally saw nothing wrong with the term, but wanted to avoid making people mad. One person even warned me that my use of the term would mark me as an outsider to the genre. Right. Nevermind that I've read almost every science fiction novel out there, have been reading in the genre since age 10, and love the genre to death.
My view is there's nothing wrong with the term SciFi, especially since the general public uses it. People in the science fiction community continually talk about how they want to bring in new readers to the genre. Well, one way to do that is to use a term which resonates with the general public. Just my 2 cents worth.
UPDATE 2: Many thanks to K. Tempest Bradford for writing about this. And if the Crotchety Old Fan's comments on the SF/SciFi Generation Gap can't bring a smile to your face, you take life far too seriously.