I woke up this morning to see that the beautiful, wealthy people at the top of the American publishing scene are telling me publishing is doing well! Whew. That’s a load off. And here, I can’t actually remember the last time I purchased a hardcopy genre novel. I suspect it was before Wee Dave was born, for a couple of reasons. First, disposable income. Second, I don’t remember a whole lot of the last four years.
Ok, the truly entertaining part of John Sargent’s (CEO of Macmillan) comments wasn’t thanking President Trump for trying to block the publication of Michael Wolff’s magnificent work of fiction Fire & Fury. (I still think the POTUS’ mobilization of the DOJ – aside from being apparently juvenile – was mostly trolling his political and cultural opponents.) Oh, no. That’s what followed, where he pulled off his gleaming helmet, wiped his noble brow, and assured us he believes “free speech … is the greatest value” in publishing. Such a paladin. I’m so glad powerful businessmen are there to defend our rights. I just wish they’d do it consistently, since that’s what they claim to be for.
Okay, guys (and gals, and others, etc.) I don’t usually go this route, but I’ve been watching things unfold from the front row, and my harping on professionalism is coming ‘round again. In short: always be yourself, always be above board, and always be a professional.
For those who aren’t aware (just decanted from a cloning tube, released from cold-storage, or been rocking the mountain-top guru gig (nice work, if you can get it)), a couple of months ago, ConCarolinas announced that Friend of the MGC and all-around good guy John Ringo had been selected as an special guest for the 2018 convention, which just wrapped up this past weekend. The internet almost immediately kersplodeyed, and the crybullies mobbed in force. All the usual suspects came swinging all the usual epithets, and everybody else got tired.
So I’m finally through the Extreme Pantser’s Guide reposts, which means I have to find something to write about on my own again. That or just ramble at the screen until I’ve filled in enough space. Or swear at the cat who decided to leap on me and drape himself over my shoulder – and who hangs on.
Yeah. Swearing at the cat is good. Read more
In light of yesterday’s post by Jason about the whole WorldCon thing, and conversations I’ve had with friends recently, in addition to learning more about the history of Fandom: Breendoggle, the rampant child molestation at cons, Kramer of DragonCon… I have not seen the seedy underbelly of the big, old cons myself. My con experiences have been few, and fun, and that’s when it hit me.
I’m not a Fan.
Furthermore, I don’t want to be a Fan. I shudder at the idea of meeting a SMOF – those jerks attacked my friends, and when I joined the fight, came after me and my family. I stepped back to protect my children, and in doing so, gained some perspective. Not only do I not want to be a part of their club – never did, when it comes down to it – but I object to the notion that authors have to join with these despicable types in order to succeed. No. A thousand times no. I reject that utterly. Read more
The Quiet Diversity of Robert Anson Heinlein – -by Christopher Nuttall
To cut a long story short, I wrote three reviews of Heinlein’s most popular and influential books for Amazing Stories. (You can find the first here.) In doing so, I realised that Heinlein had practiced a form of ‘quiet diversity.’ It seemed a good topic for an essay.
‘Diversity’ is a word that brings out some pretty mixed feelings in me.
On one hand, I appreciate being able to eat food from many different cultures and explore the history of many different societies. On the other hand, I frown at the idea that all cultures must be treated as equal when it is self-evidently true that they are not. And, on the gripping hand, I feel very strongly that characters must not serve as politically-correct mouthpieces for a writer (or a company’s) views on society. That does not lead to well-rounded characters, but to flat entities that are either instantly forgettable or laughable.
Diversity does not exist when a character is feted as the first [insert minority group character] to exist. Diversity exists when the presence of such characters is seen as unquestionable. Read more