2.03.2004

Bob's Planting His Flag....

Okay. Message received. The blog is foundering and the readers are befuddled. Guess what? So are we.
Hi. I'm Bob Urell. I'm a 30-something blue-collar worker by night, a full-time college student by day, and Super Daddy every single chance I can squeeze in between. I'm a lifelong SF reader of vastly eclectic and mutable taste. I'm a loudmouthed demagogue. I am not an academic, but I play one cuz I like the costume. I think Northrop Frye was a genius, I think Harold Bloom can't get over that. I love Science Fiction. I write it, I read it, I dream it. And almost all of my friends are professional writers and editors.
That's why I agreed to do this when chouinard asked me if I was interested. I see a lot of things right about what we've done with the genre we've inherited. In some ways it's better than ever, sleeker, stronger, deeper, which shows good stewardship on our part. But there are a lot of things wrong with today's SF as well. Things that bother and sadden me. Things I think need drawing out into the light and examined under microscope. Both of these, the good and the bad of contemporary SF, need observant, intelligent criticism. That's what criticism is, or at least what pragmatic criticism is. It identifies what works and what doesn't work and why. That's what I want to do here, even if I haven't managed to do so yet.
In fact, from the reader comments we've gotten, you definitely don't think we've done what we set out to do as yet. And we hear you. Loud and clear. And the e-mails are flying back and forth backstage, and we're hashing out what to do, and how to do it, and even if anything actually needs doing at all....
So here's my flag in the dirt, my independent declaration. When I post to this site I will try to always keep you in mind. I will try to show you what it is that I see happening in the genre, whether it be on the bookshelves with my reviews or in the out of the mouths of my favorite -- and even my least favorite -- authors with my essays. I will always try to show you why you should care and, if I can, what you can and should do about it, whatever "it" might happen to be. I will share with you everything I have learned to love about this genre, its people and its future (as I see it), and I'll do it in such a way that you'll at least understand where I'm coming from, even if you don't agree with me. I will, in short, tell you everything I can about what I think of SF and why. That's my promise to you, and it's all I thik you can ask of me.
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