Election Day Linkdump

Don’t worry, I’m not going to comment on this Sunday’s elections in Schleswig-Holstein, France, Greece and Serbia – I just needed a post title.

Meanwhile, it seems we are still discussing the same topics we were discussing last week:

At Making Light, Abi Sutherland responds to Elizabeth Bear’s column in Clarkesworld about too much darkness and grimness in speculative fiction. The Bear column is linked in this post, by the way.

Charles Stross also briefly refers to the posts by Elizabeth Bear and Abi Sutherland before launching into a discussion whether the rise of e-books and the related change in sales channels and purchasing habits will spell the death of the concept of genre in general and the science fiction genre in particular. There is an annoying overuse of “curate” and “curation” (two words that should only ever be used in connection with museums, not blogs and bookstores) in the currently trendy usage, but otherwise his point is very interesting.

Though indie writers are often more wedded to narrow genre boundaries and stereotypical covers than the most traditional of the traditional publishers. On the Kindleboards, you constantly see posters ripping into perfectly good covers, because “they don’t accurately reflect the genre and no one will buy it”, you see beautiful and unique covers in signatures replaced by generic stock photo based covers that look like everything else out there or you see posters advising other posters that they should stick to a single genre or at least use different pen names for different genres. Now I obviously don’t take that advice, but it is still depressing to see how many indie writers try to squeeze themselves into smaller boxes than traditional publishing would ever demand from them.

Some writing advice from the masters: The Wall Street Journal has an article by John Irving on foreshadowing and writing endings.

More writing advice from the masters: The blog Dominus Lumiere reprints William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech.

The design magazine Print has an interesting article about romance novel cover design. Though I have to say that the examples shown in the article are exactly the sort of romance covers that drive me up the wall – ahistorical models in ahistorical clothing.

Print also has a good article on science fiction design and why the best SF design is largely a thing of the past.

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