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?