An announcement and new entries in old discussions

Signal boost: If you’re in the Bremen area, newleaf, the English language literary magazine of the University of Bremen, will hold the launch reading for issue No. 28 at the Theaterwerkstatt in the Kulturzentrum Schlachthof on Monday, June 25, 2012, at 8 PM.

At the Book View Café, Ursula K. LeGuin responds to the latest reiteration of the genre versus literary fiction debate and wonders why we can’t just call it all literature and be done with it.

N.K. Jemisin has a great post about magic systems and the legacy of Dungeons & Dragons and asks why magic needs to make sense at all. I agree with her, even though I have read some very good books in the “magic needs to have a cost” category, e.g. Devon Monk’s Allie Beckstrom series. But I’ve also read excellent books in the “Because it’s cool and because I can” category, e.g. Simon Green pulls flat out deus ex machina resolutions not once but several times in his Deathstalker series (which is supposed to be SF at that) and I’m still munching down those books like a bowl of nachos. It’s all in the execution, not the how systematic or just plain wild your magic is. Rewritten Dungeons & Dragons campaigns, however, are the bane of the genre and have been at the heart of much that is wrong with epic fantasy for ages.

The Huffington Post has yet another painfully condescending article by a self-confessed romance novel addict. Found via The Passive Voice, where the post has also generated a very good comment thread. What gets me most about this article, apart from the whole “romance is porn and addictive and bad for you” attitude, is that the author, an editorial assistant at a publishing house, used romance manuscripts from the slushpile to feed her “addiction”. A large number of slushpile manuscripts are bound to be not very good, so it’s no wonder that she found mainly bad books. Why didn’t she just ask whoever is in charge of the romance imprint at her publishing house for recommendations instead?

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8 Responses to An announcement and new entries in old discussions

  1. Vanades says:

    I recently read Tanya Huff’s “The Enchantment Emporium” and while her magic does have rules she has characters who move outside them and in some cases seem to break them. I was a bit huffed at the end because of the suddenly all powerful character but I still love the book to pieces because it is a great book and Tanya Huff makes it all plausible. Maybe not logical, but plausible.

    I think as reader we want the ones who challenge and break the rules. Would Harry Potter have been as successful had he been a good little boy who listened to his aunt and uncle and obeyed the rules? Most definitely not.

    As for these ‘self-confessed romance novel addicts’ … Get over yourself and what you think others think you should be reading. Also, find some good books to read. Dear Author has great reviews and recommendations.

    • Estara says:

      Have you read the follow-up to The Enchantment Emporium? Because it concentrates on the most powerful Wild Gale and it runs away with the story a whole lot, too. I loved being introduced to Cape Breton and the folk scene, but the book didn’t work as well as TEE for me. Will read a third book, though, if she releases one.

      • Vanades says:

        Yes, I’ve read The Wild Ways. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it because it was about Charlie which I already liked in TEE.
        You’re rght it wasn’t as tight as TEE but still an enjoyable read. Especially the end felt a bit rushed. It was very interesting to read about Cape Breton and the Folk scene. Reminded me a bit of Charles de Lint and his books. I love the combination of Urban Fantasy and Folk music.

        I will definitely read a third one and hope Tanya Huff plans to write one. 🙂

    • Cora says:

      The Enchantment Emporium is one of those books that have been on my TBR pile since forever. I guess I should really bump it up and read it, since I’ve always enjoyed Tanya Huff’s Henry Fitzroy novels.

  2. Pingback: Ursula K. Le Guin on Literature vs. Genre | The Passive Voice

  3. gold account says:

    Western fiction is defined primarily by being set in the American West in the second half of the 19th century, and secondarily by featuring heroes who are rugged, individualistic horsemen ( cowboys ). Other genres, such as romance, have subgenres that make use of the Western setting.

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