Archive | 9:01 am

In defense of genre fiction

23 Apr

Although it's a few years old, Finanical Times' "The Information: Genre fiction sales" does a good job explaining how genre fits into the wider world of book sales.

Recently, the BBC featured a program that covered the place of fiction in contemporary society, focusing largely on “contemporary fiction” or “literately fiction” – you know, fancy fiction, what you read in high school English classes and what book snobs read forever, the books that you’re happy to display on your shelves so that someone might mistake you for cultured.  And, this rubbed authors of “genre” or “popular” fiction (the people who write all the other fiction: sci-fi, fantasy, horror, etc.) the wrong way.  They felt that the omission of their books (which constitute a very large percentage of books sold and read every year) was purposeful.  Because something as auspicious as the BBC wouldn’t talk about the fact that people like to read books with spaceships and elves and other cool stuff…  (For more on this, read Genre authors attack “sneering” WBN coverage.)

Author Stephen Hunt organized 89 genre authors to sign a letter in protest of this omission.  On his blog, he explained the importance of genre fiction.

Imagine a world where those in charge of broadcast programming have decided that polo, show jumping and grouse shooting are the only sports considered decent to be aired on TV and radio. You open the sports pages of newspapers to find page-after-page of coverage of how many birds a group of investment bankers have blasted into feathers over the glorious twelfth. No football. No cricket. No car racing. No rugby. Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: