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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Classics: a third way

Let’s face it, the field of literary Science Fiction & Fantasy is flying to pieces. There is no single gateway through which fans enter (if there ever was) and there is no single gateway through which professionals enter (thanks to electronic and indie publishing.) The lines between fan and professional have also been so thoroughly blurred, they practically don’t exist. There is merely a long, flat income curve — with most people dwelling along the flat part, and a very few people dwelling on the steep ascent; where the real money can be found. Success might be measured according to accolades, or it might also be measured according to dollars, but there is also the matter of academic recognition. There is no agreement on matters of quality, nor on matters of import. One woman’s deathless classic is another man’s throwaway rubbish; and vice versa. Tens of thousands of books, stories, comics, graphic novels, games, movies, and television series pour forth each year — all of them vying for a piece of our collective attention. (The good news being that the audience’s favor is not an exclusive commodity. A fan of one book, one author, one franchise, can be a fan of many others as well.)

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