Continuing With Genre and Proud

April 7th, 2005 · No Comments
by Booksquare

In our defense, we rarely recommend the prologue to interviews. Usually these pithy(ish) introductions puff up the interviewer, not the interviewee. However, when the interviewer manages to make us envy and possibly dislike (in a healthy, normal way) the interviewee, we cannot help but suggest that reading the prologue is as critical as reading the interview.

There are many genre fiction authors who fear their slot in life. That’s fine, but genre isn’t bad. It simply means structure. We hate to keep dragging out the haiku analogy, but if ever genre poetry existed, there you have it. Perhaps this is why we appreciated this comment:

Her [Susanna Clarke] publisher and her PR people obviously want to talk about how this is a great literary invention, and one of the things that I love about Susanna is that she says, “Among other things, this is also a fantasy book.” This is a woman who feels unapologetic and unabashed about her generic roots. I feel very grateful to people like that. And similarly, I feel very grateful to someone like Doris Lessing, who comes from outside genre but understands it and respects it. In the middle of a big literary festival, Doris Lessing, one of the great writers of the twentieth century, fêted by the literary establishment, was talking about this great book she’d read by Greg Bear. This is a woman who really keeps up with genre SF and is not embarrassed to say so.

File Under: Square Pegs