Mike has put his genre denial syndrome argument, as mentioned in the Bulgakov review, on the OUSFG Wiki. You want this page here. Feel free to add questions or comments as you please.
"Essentially SF as a genre exists to locate books within bookshops so the book-buying public can find them. Therefore you can walk in and effectively see: 'If you enjoy good prose style and strong characterisation [the things which are valued by the literary mainstream] please turn right, where you may find occasional books with robots, spaceships and mind-blowing ideas. If you enjoy robots, spaceships and mind-blowing ideas [the things which are valued by the SF community] please turn left, where you may find occasional books with good prose style and strong characterisation.'"