Why I don’t read in my genres any more

(updated from an original post on Goodreads long, long ago…)


I debated writing this post for a while.

Three things solidified it for me:

  1. A discussion about fast paced sci-fi reads. I made a comment and offhandedly shared that my library listed my picks – Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain and The Terminal Man – as Fiction, not Science-Fiction (FWIW, Wikipedia claims science fiction, medical fiction and thriller as his genres). The comments intrigued me. I didn’t see any definitions of genre (sci-fi, fantasy or horror in this case) v fiction/literature offered. Examples, yes, definitions, no. Why is something considered fiction or genre? I wondered if something about being fast-paced shifted my library’s cataloguing from sci-fi to fiction. Did a metricable difference between literature and any genre (let’s include mystery, gothic, spy, romance, military, medical, thriller, western, historical, et cetera) exist or if, as some claimed, was it anything from personal bias to outright snobbery? Basically, I want to know if literature v genre is quantifiable. (i think it is, although I’ll yield that how important the metrics are is based on personal bias.)
  2. I started questing for relevancy; I have reasons why I rarely read in my genres any more. Did anyone else have anything similar? That question led me to Chuck Wendig’s “25 REASONS WHY I STOPPED READING YOUR BOOK” post. It’s classic. I don’t share all of Mr. Wendig’s 25 reasons, simply most and as for the others, it’s not so much that I disagree as I’m not sure if I agree.
  3. I read Pushing Ice (Goodreads rating 4.02, my library casts it as SF) and The Golem and the Jenni (Goodreads rating 4.1, my library casts it as FIC) pretty much simultaneously. Both are first novels, the differences in several factors are so striking that I knocked off 50-60 pages of The Golem and the Jenni whenever I had the time andPushing Ice…well…
    Continue reading “Why I don’t read in my genres any more”

Romance Versus Sex

Yesterday at the gym, after my workout and on my way out, as I walked up the stairs to the main doors, I looked up and saw two female staff members talking at the top of the stairs.

I smiled and they smiled back. I said, “Ah to climb a winding stair and there two beautiful women await. This is the stuff of ancient romance. Who’s heart would not beat fiercer in their breast for seeing the same.”

One of the women, a decade or so short of my age, laughed.

The other woman, in her middle thirties, did not.

I can’t guarantee and am comfortable that both know I’m an author as I often (with permission) interview female staff members on women’s responses to situations to add authenticity (and remove male subjectivity) from my characters.

And in that moment, I wondered if our woke selves have misplaced sex for romance. I see such things and hear Shakespearian sonnets. I wonder what others hear.

If only romance could be recognized as the heart singing a song rather than the dick looking for a home.

Ruminations Part 7 – Stop looking where you shouldn’t be looking

My first rumination can be found at Ruminations Part I – “Your eyes are completely healed”
My second at Ruminations Part 2 – Numbers lead to informed decisions
Rumination Part 3-1 is Ruminations Part 3 – Sensitivity Readers, Part 1
Rumination Part 3-2 is Ruminations Part 3 – Sensitivity Readers, Part 2
Rumination Part 3-3 is Ruminations Part 3 – Sensitivity Readers, Part 3 – I Take a “Writing the Other” class
Rumination Part 3-4 is Ruminations Part 3 – Sensitivity Readers, Part 4 – Is your character POC or POM?
Ruminations Part 4 is Ruminations Part 4 – I can’t talk to women anymore
Ruminations Part 5 is Ruminations Part 5 – Joseph Carrabis (was/could be/might have been) (Personal Pronouns in Fun and Earnest)
Ruminations Part 6 is Ruminations Part 6 – Professionalize this, Buddy


Early last month on a Saturday morning I lay in bed on my right side, covers over my head to keep the light out, curled up in a foetal ball, and discovered a deeper reason, and as yet unknown reason, I wanted to be a bestselling author for as long as I can remember.

 
I remembered reading Skylark Three. I’m not sure what triggered the memory, exactly. It came unbidden. A happenstance of the senses: the position, the pain, hiding under the covers. A forgotten spirit summoned by the incantation of the moment.

And now a warning: Hold on, dear Readers. We’re going for a ride. Best leave now if you have no interest.
Continue reading “Ruminations Part 7 – Stop looking where you shouldn’t be looking”

“Power Unlimited” is in Daikaijuzine’s Anguirus Issue

Those wonderful, brave, and intelligent folks at Daikaijuzine published my short story, Power Unlimited, today. These are the wonderful, brave, kind, and intelligent folks who published another of my short stories, Cold War, last September.

 
Power Unlimited originally appeared in the April 1992 (and now defunct) ARAASP and my self-published anthology, Tales Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires V1 2016.

Daikaijuzine’s editors and publisher have exquisite taste. Don’t you think?

 
The story behind the story Continue reading ““Power Unlimited” is in Daikaijuzine’s Anguirus Issue”

Ruminations Part 6 – Professionalize this, Buddy

My first rumination can be found at Ruminations Part I – “Your eyes are completely healed”
My second at Ruminations Part 2 – Numbers lead to informed decisions
Rumination Part 3-1 is Ruminations Part 3 – Sensitivity Readers, Part 1
Rumination Part 3-2 is Ruminations Part 3 – Sensitivity Readers, Part 2
Rumination Part 3-3 is Ruminations Part 3 – Sensitivity Readers, Part 3 – I Take a “Writing the Other” class
Rumination Part 3-4 is Ruminations Part 3 – Sensitivity Readers, Part 4 – Is your character POC or POM?
Ruminations Part 4 is Ruminations Part 4 – I can’t talk to women anymore
Ruminations Part 5 is Ruminations Part 5 – Joseph Carrabis (was/could be/might have been) (Personal Pronouns in Fun and Earnest)


Long, long ago I read Robert Silverberg’s NightWings and loved it. I reread it in college, again in my thirties, in my fifties, and it’s on my shelf for yet another read as I type this.

 
My latest version has a new introduction by Silverberg and is the genesis of this rumination.

Personal Setbacks
Silverberg mentions some personal losses in his new introduction; his house caught fire and he lost many works in progress (this was in the 1960s. “Backup” was a carbon copy you kept in another room). He sent an editor a rough version of NightWings. Silverberg lived in New York City, the editor’s offices were in New York City, people knew each other in the NYC science fiction/fantasy writing community, and the editor, knowing Silverberg’s situation, offered him LOTS of money for the rough draft.

…it was the sort of favor that one professional would automatically grant another in a time of crisis.

 
Silverberg describes it as “…the sort of favor that one professional would automatically grant another in a time of crisis.”
Continue reading “Ruminations Part 6 – Professionalize this, Buddy”