Friday 7 May 2010

The speculative genre, from a newcomer's perspective

Really interesting article from genre newcomer M. D. Lachlan, in which he discusses some of the differences between the speculative genre and the mainstream from a writer's perspective:
"Fantasy authors are much less up their own bums than mainstream authors. They’re approachable and friendly . I can honestly say I’m yet to encounter a bad attitude from anyone at all. I arrange to meet other authors for drinks in town, I go to dinner with them, sit on panels with them at conventions and talk about writing. 
The judge of someone is how they treat you when they have nothing to gain, and nothing to lose from acting badly towards you. Take the Advanced Review Copies for Wolfsangel. When I published my first comedy novel in 2000, ARCs were sent to a number of writers to see if they’d be willing to comment. One did - the lovely and gracious Jill Mansell. Another famous author phoned me up to tell me how much he’d enjoyed the book. ‘Can we use your quote on the front?’ I asked. ‘Are you joking?’ he said, ‘you’re a rival now’. 
Wolfsangel was sent to about 12 authors. Eight replied with quotes. I was staggered, not so much that people had agreed to say nice things about my work but that they’d read it in the first place. That’s a serious commitment of time to a new author. But this is the thing about fantasy – the authors tend to be fans. They actually love the genre they write in and are baying to snap up anything new."
You can - and should - check out the full article on the Gollancz blog.


Kendall said...

Wow, what a great post. It made me feel, honestly, kinda warm and fuzzy inside, as a fantasy/science fiction fan. ;-)

Thanks for linking to it. I don't read that blog (maybe I should...).

Kendall said...

P.S. I must be missing something, but they don't appear to have an RSS feed. ;-(

Anonymous said...

I don't quite see the point why some authors would see others as rivals. That speaks rather of an inferiority complex. Any kid can buy more than one book in a year...

Ishtar said...

That was such a heartwarming post. As a long-time SF&F fan I've (mostly) grown used to hearing disparaging remarks from the ignorant, and comforted myself with the knowledge that those in the know are aware of how fantastic the genre, its writers and fans can be.

So it was wonderful reading such a passionate endorsement by a newcomer. SF&F fans are by far the nicest, most informed and friendly community I've found online.