3.08.2005

Chewing Cud

Matt Cheney has posted again on "why what I like to read is better than everything else that I don't like to read." I hate disagreeing with Cheney because I enjoy reading the exemplars of any form of fiction and because it makes me out as some curmudgeon battling for the crumbling ruins of the old guard when all that I'm saying is either appreciate it or don't, love it or leave it, give peace a chance. There's no reason to whoop a battle cry and proclaim victory. Read the article if you want back-patting for what you like to read, or have your neck hairs stand on end if you happen to like stuff that Cheney does not.

(Specious logic, too: Since SF magazine subscriptions are down, then that means Cheney style of fiction is better since novels are bestsellers and award winners. A more scientific approach would be to compare promotional budgets for the two types of fiction that Cheney sets up as enemies (why?) and see how those sales compare.)

The one point I do like--and I've made it before--SF may be missing new writing talents by sticking to any one style. I'll say it again in more broad terms: Fiction should always look for new ways of expressing the old human dramas.

His earlier, similar Strange Horizons post on "Walls", which I also disagree with but only in the manner of conveying the same information, had more food for thought. I've been hoping to respond in full.

I'm still planning on responding to the post on style--I'm half-way through--but life gets in the way.