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Thin and Crispy Genre Slices

May 28, 2008

I’ve passed on a small dose of my thoughts on genre.

In 2006 I really enjoyed reading Pattern Recognition by William Gibson. I would like to read more books like it. But what if I don’t know where to go for recommendations online? What if I have no friends who read? Help me, oh incessant and pedantic labellers of things!

Apparently, it’s called Mundane SF. Catchy. This is SF written for today, tomorrow, next week. Okay, I get that. I understand why a writer won’t want to spend all day saying “I write science fiction. No, not like Star Wars.” I’m not sure ‘SF that’s not like Star Wars’ needs its own separate label.

These guys are serious. They even have a manifesto. May dog have mercy on their soles.

Actually by manifesto, I just mean some guy and his Clarion workshop students decided to pontificate about what ‘proper’ SF should and shouldn’t be like. You know, dictating to writers about how to express themselves through writing? How utterly pointless. Genre is a dead end street, I’m just saying. The silver lining on that pareticular cloud comes as the occasional amusing rebuttal. Okay, that part is fun.

Rudy says in part, “A manifesto needn’t be a universal strait-jacket. But maybe some forms are self-defeating. Like a novel that doesn’t use the letter E. Or a piano piece that doesn’t use the black keys. Or a painting with no red or yellow.”

I like that, and following a decent interval, I intend to steal it, and use it in conversation to sound witty. Now there’s my manifesto! No Red Dwarf quote too obscure, no Simpsons reference too irrelevant. Actually there’s probably a label for that too.

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  1. October 16, 2008 at 7:30 pm
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