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Anti-snobbery in all directions
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Lots of wonderful links around the internet right now! Carrie Jones is hosting a contest to give away a hardcover copy of her new novel, Love and Other Uses for Duct Tape, as well as a paperback copy of her first novel, Tips on Having a Gay (Ex) Boyfriend (which I LOVED). Needless to say, I was always going to enter that contest, because I'm desperate to get a copy of Love... and it's not available on what makes this particular contest the most fun is that she's challenged every entrant to reveal a guilty pleasure read (or several!) in order to be entered. So I outed myself on the trilogy I found myself obsessed by all last week (to the horror of my inner literary snob!), as well as an older and much, much more embarrassing love...and I'm encouraging everyone else to do it, too, because it's been so much fun reading other people's comments! Go and play on Carrie's blog.

And via Justina Robson, I just discovered a great online article by Richard Morgan on the sheer craziness and absurdity of all the flame-throwing, hierarchical wars within the science fiction and fantasy genre. Here's one of my favorite bits:
So you want to write Mundane SF. Good idea -- go away and do it; if Geoff Ryman's Air is anything to go by, something resembling Mundane SF might -- eventually -- win the genre its first Booker prize. But why the crushing need to denigrate the space opera end of SF before you start? What's with the superior attitude? Oh, and you guys -- before you start looking all smug 'n' shit behind this -- so you lot don't want to write (or read) mundane SF. Fine -- don't. But is it so terribly threatening when someone else does, that you have to vomit up this ocean of rage and abuse, as if the Mundanistas had come out suggesting re-education camps for the Star Trek fanbase. Is the Mundane manifesto really such an affront that established authors (who really should know better) and fans alike have to start hurling abuse around like they're a street gang and someone said something dirty about their mothers?

And while we're at it, all you self-professed New Weirdsters - did nailing your New Weird colours to the mast five years ago really have to mean such an avowed and out loud contempt for all that painstakingly imagined (and yes, mapped!) "consolatory" fantasy and those who like to immerse themselves in it? Was that the only way the manifesto could stand -- in fake-defiant from-the-barricades revolution-chic opposition to something else? Did there -- does there always -- have to be an enemy? Do we have to hate before we can get passionate about what we're doing? Or was it just a sneaking suspicion that those "consolatory" guys were going to steal readership share?

You can read the whole article here. Having been pretty horrified myself by some of the barricade-building I've seen just in the last few years (science fiction is worthier than fantasy! grim books are worthier than cheerful books! happy endings are escapist crap! etc., etc., et-mind-numbing-cetera), I really, really enjoyed it.

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