1.05.2004

Miscellaneous Responses

Coming soon to a blog near you: "The Art of Suggestion" [an article I wrote when I thought s1ngularity would be article-style], and "The Art of Plot"

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Good point, Alan, on why we need independent critics. These points must be established because some are not yet informed. I understand Nicholas' sentiment, but we've got to establish ground rules.

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Gabe's point about the theory of Interstitiality is taken. Currently, the theoretical foundation is a little shaky, but I appreciate its attempt to bridge reading different kinds of literature because...

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I do believe, along with Samuel Delany and James Gunn, that SF requires certain protocols. Every different kind of literature does require a new set of protocols. This is exactly why people won't read certain literatures (poetry, plays, mystery, SF, fantasy, literary, experimental) because they either don't understand the protocols or refuse to accept them. Some writers amaze me when they write according to varying protocols or, even better, inventing protocols all their own (innovative, experimental--i.e. Joyce, Barthelme, etc.).

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My only problem with IA is when certain proponents seem to suggest it is the better path. My guess via Alan's point in your comments section is that they are going to an extreme only to gain acceptance for a kind of fiction that looks differently from the accepted "norms." While I applaud the effort to legitimize the literatures and bridge the gulf, I worry about extreme positions:

medio tutissimus ibis

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Lastly, I agree that genre reviews are presently in a sad state because most do not or cannot provide sufficient reasons for they like or dislike works. We seem to be practioners of blurb-ese.

As I responded to Adam Roberts' question regarding what to do about reviews: ignore anyone who cannot explain why. It may not always be possible to do so, but we should make the effort to explain.

--Trent Walters

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