September 30th, 2009

Time to get SOZD

Originally published at Cheryl's Mewsings. Please leave any comments there.

Damien G Walter reminds me that tomorrow is Support Our Zines Day. Before Gary Farber gets annoyed again I should point out that in this particular case Damien just means fiction magazines such as Clarkesworld that need funds to keep paying their authors. There are lots of them, and many of them are listed on the Save Semiprozine web site.

The basic idea of SOZD is that on that day everyone is encouraged to donate some money to their favorite ‘zine. Take out a subscription, click the donate button or whatever. For those of you on Facebook, here is the Event page.

And if you should happen to feel like donating to Clarkesworld, you can do so here.

Update: Those of you who don’t like the idea of small press magazines asking for money might like to read this post by Amanda Palmer. I think she’s right. Artists of all types have to make a living. I’d far rather see my money going more or less directly to them than most of the cash being siphoned off by distributors, retailers and multi-national publishers. For goodness sake let’s get away from this ridiculous classist idea that art is something that the upper classes do for love and no one should ever ask money for.

Meanwhile, in Russia and Croatia

Originally published at Cheryl's Mewsings. Please leave any comments there.

Two interesting links have come through today.

Firstly this one from World SF News pointing at information about SF&F in Russia.

And secondly this one on the Croatian SF blog, about the fantasy writer Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić, who was apparently twice nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature despite writing that horrid genre stuff.

On Popularity Cycles

Originally published at Cheryl's Mewsings. Please leave any comments there.

Those of you who read Kim Stanley Robinson’s tirade against the Booker Prize (reported here) may remember that he chastised the Booker jury for being interested mainly in historical fiction. Following this thread, Jerome de Groot has an interesting post up at The Guardian about the popularity of historical fiction with the Literati. This caught my eye:

Sometime during the later 20th century, though, historical writing became marginalised. Writers thought writing about history was something only romance novelists did, and studiously avoided anything that looked like genre fiction; the ghosts of Georgette Heyer, Catherine Cookson and Jean Plaidy loomed large. Historical writing became associated with military history – like those novels written by Bernard Cornwell, Patrick O’Brian, CS Forester – or conspiracy thrillers. Literary novelists disdained such practice, preferring to see themselves as apart from genre fiction writers.

So not that long ago historical fiction was “genre”, and presumably only read by strange people who go to re-enactment events and dress up in costumes. Now it dominates the Booker. Strange how fashions change.

Imagine a World…

Originally published at Cheryl's Mewsings. Please leave any comments there.

World Fantasy is now only a month away. I’m obviously very much looking forward to seeing California again (and especially to seeing Kevin), but there are lots of old friends I want to catch up with, and many new friends I want to make. One of the people I’m looking forward to meeting is Malinda Lo, whose debut novel Ash I am planning to buy. If you are interested to know why, check out this post on Nicola Griffith’s blog and listen to Malinda talk about imaging a world free of homophobia.

Grossman Meets Banks

Originally published at Cheryl's Mewsings. Please leave any comments there.

Over at Time Lev Grossman talks to Iain Banks (and Iain M Banks) about Transition, The Culture and other things. I’m kind of surprised that the discussion of fantasy didn’t mention Inversions, because I have seen at least one review where the poor reviewer thought it was a fantasy novel. However, the question that many people will focus in on is the one about Banksy’s mountaineering exploits at the 1987 Worldcon. And that question got me all pathetically excited because it sounds like Grossman first heard the story when he was listening to the interview that I did with Neil Gaiman at Worldcon.

(No, of course I didn’t get a name check. Don’t be silly. But I am now even more pleased that Neil chose to tell the whole Brighton Metropole story.)