IBARW

It’s International Blog Against Racism Week. To see the many amazing contributions bloggers have been making (this year and last), visit the IBARW del.icio.us page. Within that collection of links, there are about 50 (so far) blog posts on writing and race. I want to highlight a few here that deal specifically with the question…

Ursula Le Guin, ladies and gentlemen.

Ruth Franklin, Slate, 8 May 2007, reviewing Michael Chabon’s newest book: Michael Chabon has spent considerable energy trying to drag the decaying corpse of genre fiction out of the shallow grave where writers of serious literature abandoned it. An excerpt from Ursula Le Guin’s response in Ansible, July 2007: God damn that Chabon, dragging it…

Fantasy and violence in film

There’s a particular pleasure in reading an articulately written and deeply negative review of something you also despise. For example, Momus reviews Pan’s Labyrinth: I thought it was a terrible film, deeply impoverished both in imagination and in its moral vision, stale to the core, and brutal to boot. It actually saddens and infuriates me…

one long flinch

I’m reading Julie Phillips’s biography of Alice Sheldon/James Tiptree, Jr. It’s excellent and I’m entranced. In the beginning I was merely interested, because I found it tough to relax into the biographical form as Phillips practices it. Having spent this semester working on (among other things) Austen’s use of modal verbs, I was struck and…

Nicely done.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden takes on Charles McGrath’s recent column about Philip K. Dick in the New York Times, which features — you guessed it — the greatest hits of condescending clichés about genre fiction. Nielsen Hayden concludes: Dick is definitely a major SF writer, very much worth reading, and some of the standard cliches about…

I just can’t help myself.

Some days I think I should just call this blog “Genre Snootinesswatch.” In an otherwise interesting, if a bit overly cute, article on annotated editions of novels in (yet again) the NY Times, William Grimes writes: Extreme devotees of Austen do not simply enjoy the novels, they want to sit in the living room at…

Noted without (much) comment

Another episode in the “transcends genre” drinking game, from Sunday’s NY Times review of Tom McCarthy’s Remainder: The subject of identity — how human memory and reality might be manipulated by outside agents — features in countless futuristic books, stories and films, and has been especially popular in the last decade as advances in the…

Remember, remember

Just stopping by to post a quick recommendation for Rackstraw Press’s new anthology, Glorifying Terrorism, a collection of stories published in response to the UK Terrorism Act of 2006. As Ned Beauman says on the Guardian book blog: … we should be happy that in 2006 science fiction pulled on its balaclava. Whether or not…