Good Friday Links

I’m taking a day off from the photo posts, because I just spent quite a bit of time finishing the first draft of a short story. So instead of Yorkshire photos, you get a bunch of (hopefully interesting) links:

First of all, I’ve been interviewed by writer Jess C. Scott at her blog. Come on over and check it out.

The Christopher Priest debate is still going on with John Scalzi pointing out a blog post by Catherynne Valente about why a woman would have gotten much more grief for making the same points that Priest did. I linked to Catherynne Valente’s post here. The real action at Scalzi’s blog is in the comments, since many commenters – some of them reasonably well known writers – seem determined to prove Catherynne Valente’s point. And at least one person is proving themselves to be still as much of an arsehole writing indigestible blobs of text as they were back when I sort of knew them.

Talking of gender debates, it also seems to be time for the annual discussion about why writing by men is still viewed as more important and more literary than writing by women, though this time around the discussion focuses on the odious “women’s fiction” label. At the New York Times Sunday Book Review, Meg Worlitzer asks why literary fiction by men is just fiction, while literary fiction by women is shoved into the women’s fiction ghetto. And at The Rumpus, Roxanne Gay wonders why we keep having the same conversation year after year after year, always with exactly the same outcome.

The SFF community also seems to be having its annual racism debate, this time focused on Game of Thrones (which I still haven’t seen, because the stupid German broadcaster blasted away the entire first season on a single weekend when I happened to be out of the country. Saladin Ahmed kicked off the debate by asking at Salon whether Game of Thrones was “too white”. The headline is a bit “Well, duh”, but the article itself is thoughtful and well argued, which doesn’t keep the predictable trolls from showing up. Ari Marmell takes the trolls to task here.

Meanwhile, Aliette de Bodard has a great post on the eternal topic of “Writing the Other” (and I agree with her that the use of “other” is hugely problematic here) and how the common statement of “people are all the same everywhere” is making things too simplistic.

On a related note, Bryan Thomas Schmidt bemoans the closemindedness of many SFF readers, writers and fans at Adventures in SciFi Publishing.

There definitely seems to be something in the air regarding similar topics, because both Jim van Pelt and Jay Lake talk about writer brains and going into story mode.

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