First of all, the news of the day: Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak has finally resigned. Let’s hope that this marks the beginning of a true democracy for Egypt and not the changeover to the next multi-decade dictatorship. And yes, I am actually old enough to remember Mubarak taking office.
My memory and awareness of political world events gradually kicks in between 1978 and 1980. I think that’s earlier than for many others, but then I grew up in a household where the evening news were watched religiously and very much like a church service – you were not allowed to talk, comment or ask questions until after the news was over. Of course, the late 1970s and early 1980s were also a time where a lot of new political leaders and heads of state came in (which bothered me a lot at the time, because I had problems remembering all those new names – why I felt the need to remember them at age 7 I do not know). Meanwhile, the 1980s were largely static with very little changeover.
There is a lot of commentary on the situation in Egypt everywhere on the web. I quite like this post by Ursula K. LeGuin.
Meanwhile, there is a new story from the department “fans can be jerks”:
Carla Kelly is an author of regency romances and in fact one of the few living historical romance writers whom I trust to deliver the goods. Recently, however, Ms. Kelly has decided to venture into new territory, namely historical western romances about Mormons*. Many fans were not pleased, they wanted more regencies instead of historical Mormon romances. Never mind that Ms. Kelly is still writing regencies as well, she is just branching out. And at least one fan posted a vitriolic Amazon review including what may or may not be a veiled death threat.
Crap like this makes me angry. Yes, we’ve all had favourite authors who changed direction and wrote books we didn’t like nearly as much as the previous ones. It happens. Trends change, authors change interests or just plain want to write something different. I completely sympathize with that – I would quickly burn out if I only had to write the same sort of story (regardless what sort of story) for the rest of my life. And if a favourite writer changes direction and writes something that no longer appeals to me – well, no one is forcing me to buy it. Besides, I am not averse to giving Borrowed Light a try, since it’s about a piece of history that – being German – I don’t know a whole lot about.
Anyway, once again Neil Gaiman says it best: “George R.R. Martin is not your bitch.” And neither is Carla Kelly.
*I know the official name of the denomination is Church of Latter Day Saints, but that’s a very long name to type. Never mind that most of my German readers won’t know what it is.