Sunday, July 27, 2008

Interesting Things–Bear Edition

Elizabeth Bear is proposing an interesting point for discussion about the conversation of stories among the sfnal community and whether or not f&sf writers read mostly within their own generation of writers. The discussion is here. I'm not at all sure I agree with her. No, strike that. I suspect that she is right in terms of general trends, but that it breaks down a lot in terms of individual writers.

For example, I read very little short fiction, and what novels I read I read almost entirely for pleasure. In general I don't write in a reactionary way, or at least not in a meta-fictional reactionary-within-genre kind of way. Pushing boundaries and mapping the edges of meta-fictional discourse is to me not a very interesting way to think about writing. I can do it, but I think it misses much of the simple joy of story-telling which is at the heart of why I read and write. This is not to say that it is a bad way to think about story, just that it is one that I don't particularly subscribe to. Fortunately, there are a thousand ways and one to write, each and every one of them right, and ten times ten times that many ways to think about story, likewise all right.

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