Escaping the ghetto

Science fiction writer Mike Brotherton writes a great piece about exposing SF works to a larger audience outside of the genre fiction silos that publishers put them into (i.e. “escaping the ghetto”), and applies a delicious takedown of Michael Crichton in the process:

In my opinion, however, he has three fatal flaws and my intellectual integrity prevents me from using him as a model for how to get science fiction to the wider public. His themes are consistently anti-science, he makes large and consistent errors in getting the science right, and he consistently insists he’s not just a writer but that his M.D. and his research gives him expertise on the science he gets wrong. Oh, and he’s a dick, too, writing one critic into a book of his as a child rapist.

Timely article for me, as I’ve been struggling with the issue of how to make my first foray into a genre work accessible to my “usual” audience and also legitimate with typical SF readers as well.

posted 7/25/08 at 1:02pm to Science!, Writing · 1 reply · permalink

Genre confusion

As a general rule, I don’t like talking about a work in progress.  Especially to non-writer friends.  But yesterday in an email conversation I threw a few bits of a story into the air.  That was a mistake.

“Ooh, steampunk,” my friend said.

“No, it’s not steampunk at all, actually.”

“Well sure it is.”

“No, really, it’s not.”

“What would you call it then?”

“I don’t call it anything, yet. It’s a story. In progress. It doesn’t have a genre. It’s a little extropian, maybe. But just because it has an $ANOMALOUS_OBJECT and an $OBSCURE_HISTORICAL_PERSON in it doesn’t make it steampunk. Just let me write the damn thing, okay?”

“Fine.”

“Good.”

“Just finish it soon, because I really like steampunk.”

Grrr.

posted 5/23/08 at 7:45am to Snark, Writing · 0 replies · permalink