Thursday, July 16, 2015

What is this "TV" you speak of ...

TVs aren't going to go anywhere, but the content delivery for them has radically changed in the last 20 years. My 'Ganza co-hosts and I go on a binge (see what I did there) as we look over streaming, TV recaps and the hope that some channels can get back to their original programming.

Because wrestling on SyFy and Ice Truckers on History make perfect sense for reasons.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

And because this is the Internets, we'll wrap up July 4th with this bit of silly cuteness.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Internet, well it's here to stay, for at least a little while. Is it forever, or is it like a Palm Pilot?

My co-hosts and I dig into all that and figure out that talking toilets maybe in your future.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Is it too soon to say Genre Snobbery is dying?

When Kazuo Ishiguro wrote The Buried Giant, he claims that he discovered a prejudiced to orges (genre snobbery) existed.

Which seems a bit odd to me when the man has been writing for over 33 years, but it does make for a good sound byte as he promotes his book.

Better yet, it means that Ishiguro has teamed up with Neil Gaiman a man who has successfully jumped from comics (sorry, I meant graphic novels) urban fantasy to children's books, to talk about the inherent marketing con/need for respectability of the concept of genre.

One part of that public discussion happened over at the New Statesman, read it and enjoy. I do get a kick out how both writers had to wait for over a decade before their publishers felt that the new literary climate was safe enough for certain stories.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

You don't want to know what your gym shorts are saying to the Internet ...

The fun of being a genre writer is the playing of "what if's" of technology and future trends.

My co-hosts and I over at Nerstravganza look into wearable technology. Where it is and where it's going.

All I'm saying is that the last thing I need is a data stream direct from my running shoes to Facebook.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The fantasy book doorstop. Please just stop.

This is an example of when I read something out in the wild forums of the Internet and my two cents sort of became a buck-fifty.

The subject? Why most current fantasy novels are fat door-stoppers made of paper and pulp as the saga goes on for thousands of pages.

My reply (edited into a less rambling format.)

Don't blame the genre, blame the business.

Back in the 70s novels were a lot smaller. The two volume set for Chronicles of Amber, was a total of 772 pages for a collection of 5 stories. Yep, 150 pages a piece. (The entire run was 10 stories at 1,500 page maintaining that average.) And finishing a series like Gene Wolfe's "Book of the New Sun" ( about 1,200 pages )  was a commitment.  

But then Wolfe was always a bit indulgent.

Then some time in the late 80s, publishers convinced themselves (because noon of them used research to shore up their wack-a-doodle ideas) that if a reader at a Waldenbooks mall store (or at the airport) didn't know Writer A from Writer B, then the reader would pick a thicker book. They assumed that the reader hoped they'd be getting more story for the buck with the thicker forest-killing  tome.

Perhaps because the fantasy genre had long already been in DTOGO mode (Do a Trilogy Or Go Home) that it slid easily into making bigger books and rambling stories. It doesn't help that once an author gets popular, editors seem loath to trim their tales. (I think the Yiddish Policeman's Union is about 100 pages too long.)

So if you want lighter, tighter fare  I suggest going back and discovering the old Sword and Sorcery/New Age stuff like Zelazny, Moorecock, Butler, and last - but never least - Le Guin. All of them have tighter, shorter reads that all buck the Tolkien template.

And for some of us, the "Fantasy novels are too padded" ranks right up there with "Why doesn't MTV show music videos anymore?" i.e., a meme that's old enough to drive a car and probably buy its own drinks.

My inspiration for digging up this reply up was finding a publisher who wanted LESS than 60,000 for a submitted novel. That, right there, felt like a breath of fresh air.