Tuesday, February 4, 2014

If You Love It, Let It Go.

My friend and fellow traveller in writing, Gitte Christensen, wrote a blogpost this week about what it can be like to be a writer of speculative fiction.

Maybe it's because I came to writing quite a bit later than most, but my experience has been a little different. I don't think I've ever made excuses for writing SF, or tried to fudge the genre too much.

There are a couple of reasons for this - the first being that I write across a couple of genres. My first published story, in a horror anthology, is not considered horror by many people. Most see it as a paranormal romance. I guess it doesn't matter how much the walls of pigeonholes are blurred (or completely bent) these days, speculative fiction is still considered speculative fiction. And I guess that's what I mostly write.

Yes, I've been caught in those conversations with people who declare they loved The Road, or Avatar, or The Matrix, and then tell you in the next breath they don't like watching SF. And yes, I spend time pointing out that SF is more than just robots and spaceships.

I'm almost certain I don't consider writing SF as an elite pastime. Within the SF community I've found both writers and fans to mostly be extremely inclusive and encouraging. Outside the community I've found most readers to find my work accessible. Whether they read it or not is another matter.

As a teacher at High School, teaching mainstream English and a writing course, I've generally found it to be evidence of credibility among my students. Of course teenagers don't have the same issues with genre that adults have.

It's about time we stepped off the back foot, stop being apologetic for what we love, and allow our genre to spread beyond the confines we often place around it.

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