On Genre Rage

Very intrigued to see this posting on Richard Morgan's blog, about the rage that is experienced within genre, on forums, panels, message boards etc. Wee bit of strong language there. Do you think there's a valid point argued? A fascinating read.

Here's a funny thing. Skip across the tracks to the world of crime fiction for a while, and you don't see this shit going on. You don't get this gnawing, mutilative thread of self-hatred, this bulemic purging of whole sub-genres or readership sub-sections as somehow unworthy. A quick trawl through a couple of dozen crime writer websites and messageboards reveals no agendas or dogme-style utterances, no towering rages or griping about how the genre's going to s*** these days, how there's all this generic pap being published, how this strain of crime writing is so much more valid than this other strain, how maybe we shouldn't even be reading or writing crime fiction at all, how we need to Get Back to Basics, or Rip it Up and Start Again, or any other misbegotten Year Zero bulls***.

Go on, see for yourselves -- it just ain't there.

Unsure if I was missing something, if this was just naïve grass-is-always-greenerism on my part, I did what you should always do in research -- I asked a man who knows. I got in touch with Ali Karim at the Shots Magazine website, a man who was once kind enough to provide me with the perfect definition of "Noir" (it's the antithesis of "Disney") and who knows the crime writing world inside and out. And he concurs. You just don't see this thrashing, squabbling more-valid-than-thou posturing among crime readers or writers. You don't see the back-biting, you don't see the antagonistic comparisons, you don't see the defensive factionalism, and you don't see the rage. What you do see, on crime writing blogs and messageboards and author websites everywhere, is a confident and unselfconscious enthusiasm for the form that doesn't seem to need to denigrate something else in order to flourish. You see a broad and varied readership choosing from and enjoying what's on the menu, a large, mixed bag of writers happy to serve it up for them, and above all a generous, live-and-let-live attitude that suffuses the whole genre.

Saw this one linked on Pat's Fantasy Hotlist.

1 comment:

Tim Akers said...

I've always liked that guy. I think the "self-confident" part is, you know. Key.