Monday, September 06, 2004

Overheard at the Blogworld...

In connection with the earlier SFF primer post, here's a very apt comment by author/editor Claude Lalumière on fantasy (though I'm sure this would be appropriate for speculative fiction too):

Traditional fantasy -- whether quests, sword & sorcery, Arthurian, ghost stories, elves, folkloric, fairies, etc. -- generally holds little interest for me, and yet I love the idea of unfettered imagination implied by the term "fantasy".

Ditto with the second part of his statement. This is why I like the term speculative fiction because-- despite its hoity-toityness-- I feel it encompasses the near-limitless possibilities that imagination can bear within its pages.

Likewise, Cheryl Morgan of Emerald City skewers Those Who Would Be A Pain In the Ass as she commented on accusations against fantasy being 'escapist literature.'

Over at The Mumpsimus Matthew Cheney is getting annoyed at a mainstream reviewer who is accusing fantasy readers of escapism. I have always thought that this was an absurd charge. People who read fantasy know damn well that what they are reading isn’t real. The real escapists of the fiction world are people who read novels that claim to be set in the real world but write about people who are absurdly rich, beautiful, talented or whatever. If you want to find escapists, look for people reading Jackie Collins novels.

Of course, Morgan is a bit of a hardcore feminist which explains why she's champing at the bit...

In other news, to paraphrase Austin Powers, "Does my book-reading make you horny?"

Penguin (UK) says it has the scientific proof to back up the assertion that books make good props. In a study commissioned by the publisher, one in three women claimed she would find a bookless gent less attractive than a man reading a book. Eight of every ten people polled said they believe book readers “are likely to be much better in bed.”

Courtesy of bookslut, I know what Jessa means about surreptitiously checking out books on the train:

Also, just a note to every reading man I've encountered on the El: I wasn't trying to make eye contact, I was just trying to figure out what you were reading. Sorry for the confusion.

Lastly, something interesting: Islam in SF. Not much there yet but it's growing. (From Morgan again.)

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