"Grow up, SF people!" says Richard Morgan

SF writer Richard Morgan has a terrific post about the curious need within the SF&F community to denigrate those within the community who write or read stuff that we, ourselves, might not choose to write or read.

Me, I’m pretty eclectic in my SF&F tastes, as both a writer and a reader, so I’m with him all the way:

I guess in the end what I’m saying is that it’s about growing up. Not growing up in the sense of writing or reading “grown up” literature (whatever that actually is), or pretending — on some Eastercon panel or messageboard somewhere — to cast off a specious immaturity of prior literary taste in favour of more weighty and worthwhile prose. No, I’m talking about growing up in the sense of seeing both the genre and the wider world in the way they are instead of the way we’d like them to be. I’m talking about making conscious choices in what we write, and then taking responsibility for those choices, instead of railing against some crudely confected other that’s spoiling everything for us. This is, above all, about getting a sense of perspective on what we do for a living, about accepting our genre as a whole, the way the crime guys accept theirs; accepting it has facets and seeing them that way, instead of constantly turning them into factions; accepting that just because you don’t get off on a particular strain of SF&F, doesn’t mean other people don’t, can’t or shouldn’t. This is about accepting, as Iain Banks once said, that when all is said and done, we are all a part of the entertainment industry.

Amen, brother. Preach on!

Permanent link to this article: https://edwardwillett.com/2008/05/grow-up-sf-people-says-richard-morgan/


    • Ian H. on May 2, 2008 at 2:12 pm
    • Reply

    Good article. I guess I’m not deep enough into fandom to have run into this sort of thing. I just buy the books I want and read them. Which should sort of translate to authors as well – write the books you want. I can’t understand the vitriol when the whole genre is still looked down on from the outside. Shouldn’t the various factions be supporting each other so that if one of them finally cracks the mainstream, everybody benefits?

    • jmnlman on May 2, 2008 at 5:59 am
    • Reply

    I do find the whole “real fan” business rather nauseating. Sadly those who need this kick in the rear the most will simply shrug it off and keep going.

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