Genre Dialogue: SFF vs Literary

June 4, 2009 at 9:03 am (Genre Dialogue)

Robert V. S. Redick recently had some interesting things to say about the SFF genre and genre-ism generally over here at Suvudu.

Pull quote:

… what goes by the title “literary.” The term is preposterous, of course: like a street gang that calls itself “The Human Beings” to the exclusion of all others. But like “science fiction” and “fantasy,” it does mean something. To fall back on another old-fashioned term, it means craftsmanship.

It’s a weird world that sweeps thoughtfulness, linguistic precision, sensitivity and what Updike calls the “human subtleties” into a category apart, but such is the territory claimed by literary fiction. Tragically, we SFF writers often concede that ground without a fight.

I’m not as fond of “literary” or “mainstream” fiction as Redick is, but I do read it sometimes.   Though not in the last couple of months.   Some of it really annoys me – like Updike, whom I’ve nearly thrown across the room.   But some of it is really good, which is why I give it a chance now and again.

And Redick makes a bunch of good points in that post, which is why my Diary will continue to be a potpourri of whatever catches my interest.

Or gets thrown across the room.  Watch this space to see what happens next …

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