Sunday Six: Well That Lasted Long Edition

Bah. I forget why this didn’t go out Friday. Oh wait, I remember, I actually went into the office then went drinking, then came home with the inspiration to write. I should have probably got all this stuff out before now, but things have been rather busy. Well better late than never. Let’s get cracking.

1. We will start with a personal gripe, stored until the right time, about reviewers who go on about words that don’t make sense for a secondary world/time period.

Now I emphatically defend everyone’s right to go “that word removed me for my immersion and it’s part of why I didn’t enjoy the book”. If it happened, it happened.

At the same time, that’s a you thing, not a technical flaw on the author’s part. There is no set rule that fantasy authors are meant to avoid words with etymologies leading directly from real world places or persons without a specific framing device. Similarly, anachronistic language (when it’s actually anachronistic to begin with) is a long-standing thing, if anachronism should mean something for times that never were. Moreover, I bet that in the case of both complaints, they have happily accepted a word that falls foul of their demands elsewhere. I suppose I could give more respect to the complaints of someone who has frowned on every mention of joviality and martial valour, chauvinism and mesmerism, coaches, calico, meandering rivers, and volcanos in their secondary worlds… but that’s a bit around the bend.

I suggest to everyone they treat every secondary world book as a translation from another language but if you can’t, don’t go around thinking it’s the author’s fault.

2. Reviews.

It’s always interesting to see reviews of books you had mixed feelings about, so here’s Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth

Ariana at the Book Nook has an interesting one with Ann Sei Lin’s Rebel Skies although I don’t think it’s for me

Tori Bovalino’s Not Good For Maidens sounds rather interesting according to A Short Book Lover

I’ve only just started this one myself so haven’t read, but trust Tessa at Narratess to give you the scoop on Of Charms, Ghosts and Grievances by Aliette de Bodard

People keep suggesting I’ll like Nicola Griffith’s Spear, and Jodie at Witty & Sarcastic Bookclub is now one of them

2. General Book Shit

Want to know the plots of major authors? The one they always did? Step this way

HC Newton at Irresponsible Reader would like to talk about what makes a book good to him

Over at Pages Unbound, they reckon publishers don’t really care about us but we shouldn’t care too much about that

At Interesting article on genre over at CrimeReads

4. Authory shit

5. The Esoterica – always the best bit

6. You’re still here? Bugger, I did promise six things, didn’t I?

Another minor gripe. There’s an article going around bemoaning the lack of male literary fiction readers, full of the usual sideswipes at SFF, born either from ignorance or disdain. I mostly recommend we ignore it – although I bet I’ve made some of you curious enough to go look it up – but at the same time, maybe someone needs to feedback to the author that

a) To borrow from Professor Leary, they shouldn’t be trading the entire credibility of their message for the momentary satisfaction of communicating their disdain

b) If the author is more interested in communicating their disdain than their message, the author’s opinion isn’t wanted in subjects that to do actually matter

c) If they don’t know enough about reading habits and genres to know when their words will be taken as disdain, they don’t know enough to be writing articles about the matter

There we go. Have a gre… damnit, hope you had a great weekend!

5 thoughts on “Sunday Six: Well That Lasted Long Edition

  1. Your second comment on *that* article is one I definitely agree with. I only read the intro but it’s so telling. I could’ve written the same thing from his perspective, why she reads romance all the time and how she needs the get her head out of the clouds.

    I love romance so I don’t mean the above to shit on the genre but it’s so easy to judge someone’s taste. We’re all different and that’s what makes us beautiful. Let the man read whatever the fuck he wants. (sorry about the swear)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it’s a fair shout that Jane Austen isn’t perhaps the greatest example of what to read before telling anyone to read modern literary fiction about modern issues!

      And hear hear on reading whatever the fuck you want (here at Long Towers, we swear a lot)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Over at Pages Unbound, they reckon publishers don’t really care about us but we shouldn’t care too much about that”
    I really enjoyed this article, thanks! I totally agree, also from the POV of a reader – I used to feel stressed myself, just reading about tons of upcoming books, either from known/favourite authors (“oh I should read it and support them, just because they had success before doesn’t mean that will last”) or new ones (“oh poor things, I should read it and support them, they’re not known and need that”)…
    Now I just read what I like and choose, when I like and choose, and if I’m not that much up to date, I don’t care anymore, and if I don’t support them at launch, I also don’t feel guilty about it.

    That said, I love discovering great apparently underrated books (as far as I know) and talk about them and get people to read them 🙂
    Also, at least last year, Orbit’s New Voices usually have really good books – and while I don’t like to read reviews before reading a book, the short summary and some comments from Fantasy Faction friends usually show me if I’m going to like the book…


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