Saturday, September 3, 2011

Reading for a Saturday

Over at Torque Control, Nic Clarke has kicked off a discussion of Gwyneth Jones's Life with a post that puts Life in conversation with Vandana Singh's most recent Diffractions column.

Aliette de Bodard expatiates on the dominance of Hollywood and US publishers' tropes and narrative conventions in the wider sf field and how confining and frustrating that is, particularly for writers living in other parts of the world (though of course that applies to many, many writers here in the US as well). Her post resonates powerfully, I think, with my WisCon 32 GoH speech.

Kim Wright, on The Millions, says that lit-fic writers are saving their careers by moving into genre writing (though they risk not being allowed back into the hallowed precincts when they do so). The other alternative, she says, is incorporating elements of genre into literary novels.
It will probably always be open to debate whether these innovations are the result of writers seeking creative expression and wider audiences or a calculated move on the part of publishers who are simply trying to sell more product, even if it means slightly misrepresenting a book to its potential audience. But either way, the future seems to be stories which combine the pacing and plots of genre with the themes and style of literary writing.

In other words, this crappy market may actually end up producing better books. Because hybrids, bastards, and half-breeds tend to be heartier than those delicate offspring that result from too much careful inbreeding.
Hmm.... (or should that be ho-hum...?)

1 comment:

Josh said...

Wow. The Wright piece manages to condescend to both genre and litfic authors, to ignore almost every interesting question raised by the facts it reports, to misspell "minuscule," and to overlook ("save perhaps Stephen King") the many genre authors who have created fine litfic. I rate it at eighty-one David Brooks (the "David Brook" is a unit of doxosophy equal to 1/100 of a David Brooks column).