“Litfic: Literary Science Fiction and Recent Hugo Winners” – Jeb Kinnison

The problem is that the current crop of editors in most of traditional publishing are technically illiterate. Because the liberal arts programs and colleges in general eschew teaching technical skills and look down on getting your hands dirty, there’s no contact with the nuts and bolts of technology that the likes of Hugo Gernsbeck and John W. Campbell had. Because they don’t understand the ideas behind the story the current crop editors stay away from the big ideas. It’s a shame, because the well that comes across my sight daily would make such fun stories. there’s no market though as long as the system is the way it is.

According To Hoyt

“Litfic: Literary Science Fiction and Recent Hugo Winners” – Jeb Kinnison

I’m one of those people who straddles STEM and the literate arts with reasonable skills and interest in both. I took time off to study literature-type writing with a crew at Harvard, and John Updike visited one day. He made it clear he was a craftsman aiming at a specific audience, highly-literate Northeastern upper class sorts, but I doubt he would have looked down on someone writing for readers who like adventure stories. Dickens and Stephen King wrote for mass audiences and were looked down on by the literati of their day, but over time they became respectable and suitable for PhD theses.

The definition of “literary” is fuzzy. It’s confused with “inaccessible” and often the most obscurantist works are lionized mostly because only a few people can appreciate them, since they require study not enjoyment — e.g., James…

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One comment

  1. Leigh Kimmel · July 26, 2016

    there’s no market though as long as the system is the way it is.

    Which is why the blossoming of indie publishing is such a book for writers who have previously been unable to connect with readers because of the gatekeepers. Twenty years ago, self-publishing meant thousands of dollars upfront, boxes of books in your garage, and the struggle to hand-sell them at conventions and swap meets. Small wonder that it was viewed as the mark of a loser, to the point that many of us hesitated when things changed, and are now are behind the curve and running to catch up.

    Of course with indie publishing you have the problem of visibility, of being lost in the sea of self-published and small-press offerings that have come from this lowering of the barriers to entry. I put up my first offering back in 2014 through the JukePop serialization platform, and put up my first KDP book in March of 2015. It’s been a long, hard road and often full of disappointment. I’m trying to figure out marketing, even as I try to keep up a reasonable tempo of production.


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