More on the avalanche, science fictional childhood, dark YA and unfair e-book pricing

The Strunk and White avalanche is slowly ebbing, though I still get about ten times as many viewers as on a good day. Interestingly, the regional distribution of website visitors hasn’t changed all that much, only that there are a lot more of them now.

By the way, I accidentally deleted the spam comment folder without checking the contents first. So if I accidentally deleted anybody’s legitimate comment, I’m sorry.

Another thing that has struck me is how difficult it is to explain the phenomenon to family and friends who are not internet-savvy, because you have to explain who Strunk and White are (most Germans have never heard of them), what XKCD is and what slash is. Indeed, I showed the website stats graph with the impressive spike to my Dad, showed him the list of searchterms and finally the cartoon that started it all. He looked at the cartoon for a long time, read the caption and finally said, “I don’t get it. What’s supposed to be so funny about this?”

And now for a couple of links:

Paul Jessup offers this lovely post about how those that are now called Generation X spent their childhoods immersed in SFF.

This very much matches my experience, though the details are different. I never played videogames or RPGs and the availability of YA fantasy and SF in 1980s Germany was limited. What is more, I had rather conservative parents who wouldn’t take me to see Star Wars or Indiana Jones and all the other cool films of the period at the cinema, because I was considered too young*, and who considered VCRs and cable TV unnecessary luxuries. Comics were taboo, too, because they allegedly stunted reading ability, though I snuck plenty of glimpses at Franco-Belgian-Dutch comics at the store. Still, my main early SFF exposure came via cartoons, as explained here as well as whatever SFF films and shows the three TV station environment of the time deigned to show. There’s a reason why I am so attached to the original Battlestar Galactica.

The dark YA fiction debate that started up last month is still going on as well with both Erin Underwood and child psychiatrist Ilsa J. Bick offering two very thoughtful posts.

Lynn Viehl continues her series on quantum writing.

Finally, here is a link I already posted over at the Pegasus Pulp blog, but since it is important, I will repost it here:

David Gaughran, an Irish indie author living in Sweden, offers this must-read post about Amazon adding a two dollar surcharge for international e-book customers. This two dollar surcharge applies to e-books purchased in all countries except the USA, UK, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein.

Read more at Pegasus Pulp.

*However, my Mom saw nothing wrong with taking me to see The Name of the Rose at the age of twelve, even though that film is a lot more disturbing than any early to mid 1980s SFF flick. And my Dad saw nothing wrong with making me watch WWII documentaries with lots of original footage, even though they terrified me.

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2 Responses to More on the avalanche, science fictional childhood, dark YA and unfair e-book pricing

  1. XKCD is in general, a comic you won’t get if you are not pretty familiar with internet fads and terminology. This is a big part of its appeal really, getting it means to some degree that you have membership in an in-group.

    • Cora says:

      Oh definitely. A lot of the popular webcomics, XKCD, Penny Arcade, My Elves are different, Wondermark, the one with the dinosaurs, etc…, are geared towards a fairly narrow group.

      This struck me in particular when I saw this comic, laughed myself silly, because I had been a member of some of those communities, and suddenly realized that I was one of maybe 200 people on the planet who got that particular joke.

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