Photo: (via Things We Saw Today: A Fresh Batch of Star Trek: The Next Generation Easter Eggs | The Mary... tmblr.co/Z-Qnby1Dbh_gQ
"The next time you read an excellent horse story or school story or fantasy, try not to say in its..." tmblr.co/Z-Qnby1Dbf-eb
Video: Cathain (by DmKrispin) tmblr.co/Z-Qnby1DQ5JvR
"We cannot separate these cases from one another because doing so allows us to ignore the fact that all..." tmblr.co/Z-Qnby1DOqP-c
Seven Miles of Steel Thistles: “It’s not just an [insert genre] book…”
The next time you read an excellent horse story or school story or fantasy, try not to say in its praise, ‘It isn’t just a pony book/school story, of course…’ as if somehow it needs to be extracted from its lowly niche before it can be appreciated. Worse still, don’t say, ‘It’s not really a pony book/school story/children’s book at all!’
Because if you do, if everyone who ever reads and loves a ‘genre’ book feels they have to rescue it from its category before praising it, then what is left? Every category of books – novels, children’s fiction, popular science, you name it – contains a multiplicity of less or more able writers, and we should remember it’s better do something simple and do it well, than to aim high and fail. If somebody says, as someone recently said to me, ‘But Ursula le Guin’s books aren’t really fantasies’, how is that a compliment to le Guin, who chose to employ her wonderful talents in the field of sci-fi and fantasy? All it really proclaims is the reader’s embarrassment at having enjoyed a book belonging to a genre which they believe - in spite of the evidence before their eyes - to be second-rate.