Rants From The Blogosphere

Well kids, last month had been relatively quiet, but it seems that the blogosphere is getting tasty once again.

Should SF/F writers be readers of the genre? That's a question that's doing the rounds on Speculative Horizons, and Mysterious Outposts. There's a disccustion on SF Site's Forums too. My take is that while it's not essential, it certainly increases the chances of a new writer, in 2008, getting published—because they know the market place, and they know where to fit in. Things ain't the same as ten years ago; editors and agents are always looking to sell books in the current climate. Publishing is a business, after all, whether we like that term or not.

Meanwhile, Gabe at Mysterious Outposts ruffles a few more feathers by shining the spotlight on the state of reviews on the blogosphere. Check it out, it's pretty interesting.

Finally, SF Diplomat does ten rounds with John Scalzi, over the shiny new Tor.com website, which I have to say looks rather splendid.


Larry said...


I think a larger question is that of writers as "fans" writing in the same genre. Would Paolini's writing have been better received if his fandom in regards to Star Wars and Tolkien hadn't colored the story too much? Perhaps, perhaps not (I'm not going to deny that he might eventually develop into a solid writer if he works at honing his craft). Sometimes, I can't help but wonder if writers put in too many "fan-friendly" moments because they wished Author X had done it years before and not because the story needed such a moment.

Makes for an interesting debate topic, no? :D

Mark C Newton said...

Hi Larry!

Indeed it does.

I think James at Spec Horizons made an interesting comment about those two towering authors, GRRM and Erikson, being fans of the genre themselves. Neither of them, from what I understand, are likely to do something to 'please the fans'; on the contrary.

So I guess it depends on where the author is at with regards to their understanding of the genre, and whether they want to a) give more of the same (not a bad thing) b) play with what's there, or c) move things in new directions. All have their merits.

Whichever is chosen, for the most part, is aided by more understanding - which comes from having read more. But then, few things aren't aided by more understanding...