I’m in foreign parts, visiting my first grandchild, who is about six weeks old now. I’m considering submitting one of his diapers to trad-pub. Too good for most of them, and award winning for sure. Today we discussed Hegelian dialectic. He expressed strong opinions on that too, in a similar fashion. The genetics is strong in this lad. I can tell by his literary output.
Seriously, it has reminded me, pointedly, of just how small and helpless babies are – and of how much work is involved – and just how much washing is needed, and volume is involved in their attempts to communicate. Young Daniel is a fine, healthy lad, and very happy much of the time, but when he is not happy, on subjects like Hegelian dialectic or the passage of a bubble of gas, he does let you know about it in spades.
We keep getting outraged shrieking about ‘staying in our lane’ and not writing characters from people whose life we have not experienced, or whose experiences we have not lived. Well… maybe. But I have noticed that a lot of these are childless authors, writing fantasy. And fantasy babies (which , given the lack of contraception should be on every second page) are remarkably quiet (only screaming in plot needed moments, and being effectively muffled by mother – amazing really) and remarkably free of sicking slightly used milk on themselves and their holder, and never need need a change from what looks and sounded like a diaper Tsar bomba. I am not going to advocate staying in a lane, but if there was ever something to make any reader who has been a parent toss your book against the wall – it’s babies in fantasy-land. They’re a lot more common than most of the ‘groups’ whose lane they fuss about.
And it is those children who are the readers – and writers – of the future, because those whose parents read – are more likely to read, and genres too, often run in families.
It has been particularly fascinating to see how the reading traditions/choices have spread from my wife and I (quite different, and she did not read sf/fantasy at all – and has come to read a lot, mostly fantasy) to our children (one sf/fantasy, the other mostly sf) and then to their wives – neither of whom came from sf/fantasy reading at all. Both now read fantasy, and the one almost exclusively fantasy. I suspect all grandkids – if they read at all, will go in that direction.
So: how have you found books, authors and tastes have spread – especially across the generations? Do your children read the books – or genre – that you read?