Posts Tagged ‘surreal’

3rd May
2010
written by Steph

There’s always a lot of talk in the book blogosphere about genre fiction, often in the vein of “why does genre fiction have such a bad rap?” as well as people arguing that putting up barriers in fiction and labeling what we read is both artificial and limiting.  Notably, Margaret Atwood is one author who has claimed at one time or another that she doesn’t write “science fiction” (as though such a suggestion is distasteful), but that her writing is “speculative fiction”.  Terry Pratchett has cheekily stated that “magical realism is like a polite way of saying you write fantasy”, while Gene Wolf has opined that "magic realism is fantasy written by people who speak Spanish.” Whether it’s romances, western, military fiction, mysteries, or yes, fantasy and sci-fi, there is this pervasive view that genre fic, is somehow not proper writing (and as a corollary, I suppose, that those who read it are not doing proper reading).  Nymeth has spoken out about her dislike for the term guilty pleasure, because of the indirect implication that the work in question is of lesser value. Of course, at the end of the day, why do we need to label what we read? If a book is well-written, imaginative, emotionally honest, and provocative, then I want to read it, regardless of where I have to go in the bookstore to find it.  Often times, my favorite books are the ones that are difficult to define and pin down, those so-called “genre-benders”. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (henceforth known as HBW), is one such book. (more…)