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The headache-induced disillusionment/"couldn't care less" post

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I care about plenty of things, of course. I care enough about trying to stay on top of Mythic Delirium submissions ahead of the Clockwork Phoenix 4 window opening that I'm reading a handful of poems tonight with a mild migraine. (Jury still out as to whether this makes me more or less favorably disposed to hang on to poems for further interrogation. I have at this point at least looked at everything sent in August; some pieces have moved on to the final round.)

Was reflecting yesterday about the challenge of being an esoteric writer (in a discussion with wirewalking, who definitely knows what that's like.) It's funny in my mind (in a not-funny ha-ha way) to contrast all those starry-eyed trips to the Wise County library I made as a kid, or those in similar spirit I made to bookstores in Roanoke as a teen (or even later, as a college student) and how I would just admire all these artifacts from a world I wasn't part of but someday vaguely hoped to be.

(I think it would be fair to say that there were a number of Golden Age, New Wave and newer authors who in my head made up a sort of pantheon, and I got this thrill each time one of the gods produced a new book, even if the book itself sometimes wasn't what I hoped it would be ... in my defense, I had no genre community interactions of any kind until my late teens, early twenties, with the writer community only years after that, and so didn't become disillusioned with the idea that sf people were somehow smarter than everyone else until much later in life, hee, hee, hee.)

These days, review copies of genre publications come in to the place where I work, and though our books are more beautiful and better designed than ever, it seems like I find myself looking at the same image over and over again (usually a painting of an attractive human-type, back to the "camera" on a city street, a tattoo and some skin showing) and the disappointment of the starry-eyed boy is palpable. No offense to those who read or write them, but things I personally couldn't care less about include urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Steampunk, too, for that matter, or anything involving the Regency. And, scandalously, I finally grew bored with epic fantasy about ten years ago. (How's that for a shocker, starry-eyed little boy!)

I'm privileged to have a lot of friends who've successfully published all sorts of off-beat new works at short story and novel length (even some that qualify for the above categories.) And here in my small middle-American/mild-Southern city, the bookstores don't stock those books (though they have the ones like I've described above), turning me into an Amazon customer.

You know, browsing Amazon all-starry eyed ... it just doesn't work all that well.


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(Deleted comment)
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On September 21st, 2012 01:55 am (UTC), time_shark replied:
Thanks, Tif! And thank goodness for writers like yourself, who do that very thing, write the book that isn't there. And yeah, yours is definitely an example of a category-stuffing.

I'm going to have to mull your question, because I think the answer is multi-layered and weird. Imagine that!
(Deleted comment)
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On September 21st, 2012 02:02 am (UTC), time_shark replied:
What does it say that what I immediately think of, no conscious reason provided, is The Book of the Dun Cow.
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On September 21st, 2012 04:33 am (UTC), aliseadae replied:
Hmm. I keep seeing that one around. Should I read it, then?

I look forward to your answer too!
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On September 21st, 2012 01:09 pm (UTC), time_shark replied:
I haven't read that novel since I was a youngster, so I couldn't vouch for how well it stands up now, but I remember being hugely impressed with it.
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