Yesterday I caught an oh so annoying and yet all to common Livejournal entry wherein an author spent a screen complaining about romance and gee, I hope she felt loads smarter by the end. And I also hope to never have to pretend I don’t think she’s an asshat at some conference when she shows up in two years, after she realizes how many romance readers love to cross over genres.
But a poster at one of the board I’ve been frequenting for many years now, linked this most fabulous letter/essay by Richard K. Morgan (amazing author – one of my favorite of all time) wherein he takes to task SFF authors for doing the same thing to each other that this author and sub genres of romance do.
I guess in the end what I’m saying is that it’s about growing up. Not growing up in the sense of writing or reading “grown up” literature (whatever that actually is), or pretending — on some Eastercon panel or messageboard somewhere — to cast off a specious immaturity of prior literary taste in favour of more weighty and worthwhile prose. No, I’m talking about growing up in the sense of seeing both the genre and the wider world in the way they are instead of the way we’d like them to be. I’m talking about making conscious choices in what we write, and then taking responsibility for those choices, instead of railing against some crudely confected other that’s spoiling everything for us. This is, above all, about getting a sense of perspective on what we do for a living, about accepting our genre as a whole, the way the crime guys accept theirs; accepting it has facets and seeing them that way, instead of constantly turning them into factions; accepting that just because you don’t get off on a particular strain of SF&F, doesn’t mean other people don’t, can’t or shouldn’t. This is about accepting, as Iain Banks once said, that when all is said and done, we are all a part of the entertainment industry.
I’ve got my lighter out now. Word.