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Just a quick note

For those of you in need of a chuckle, and aren't already reading the sporadic LJ posts of pnh, take a quick look at this one: http://www.livejournal.com/users/pnh/5026.html. Big snerk at the comment about being hated, which, in GEnie terminology was an unfortunate snarf on my part, as I was drinking water at the time.

yhlee, I haven't forgotten the question you asked about category romance and the attempt to market certain lines towards a more mainstream audience -- I'll get right on that tomorrow. I'd answer off the top of my head, but my head is flat about now, and while I've been doing some research into the whole history of romance as a genre, I really don't know enough about it to answer any question authoritatively; I can give my take, but it's not on as firm a ground as the usual SF/F takes would be.

I'm coming out of paralysis at the moment. The one thing that the internet offers in this regard is speed; the speed of information, the gathering of it, the discussion about it -- things happen more quickly here than they do in real life. Not that this isn't real life, but you know what I mean. Someone posted an excellent comment about, for instance, the concept of abortion as a social justice issue -- and I've been thinking about it, mulling it over. forodwaith asked why Canada is more liberal, socially, than the US, and I'm also mulling that over. I think we're secretly in love with lawyers, since 99% of our politicians seem to have been practicing lawyers at one point in their career. Yes, I know -- how strange is that?

But I also think, at heart, that we'd rather have someone really, intimidatingly smart at the helm. Our cult of personality PM was Pierre Elliot Trudeau, a man know for his razor wit and his intellect. Oh, and his arrogance, and his ability to condescend you into an early death. We know, by default -- and yes, gross generalization here, but it's 2:30 in the morning, and I've been line-editing all night -- that we're not up to the task of governance because we don't know enough, or are not inherently smart enough to do a good job, but gosh, it would be nice to have someone at the helm who is, so smart isn't a threat in the same way it sometimes seems to be for more of the US electorate than the Canadian electorate.

Also -- and I'm not terribly representative in this regard (although it could be said that no single individual is representative of an entire plurality, regardless of whether or not they've been elected to represent that plurality) -- many Canadians really don't like fuss, bother, and change. Change, when it comes via lawyers, comes slowly and with a lot of documentation and words; change, when it comes through people outside of those venues? It's often too fast. I've never woken up after a depressing election to wonder what country I'm actually in. Otoh, if I were living in Alberta, I might <wry g>.

And last? If it's greedy bastards, you at least know what kind of trouble you're in for. If it's someone outside of that -- if it's a theocrat masquerading as a lawyer or an actor masquerading as a lawyer (lawyers being, as I mentioned, most of our politicians), well... you don't know quite what they'll do. People understand a certain type of power-mongering, and a certain type of political patronage -- they may despise it, but it has some logical struts beneath it (see: greed). But people who do things for reasons of faith, who do things that don't have a logical or sensible trail behind it -- they're harder to predict and harder to watch out for.

I have been line-editing, and realizing that, in fact, contemporary and anecdotal though my voice for this book is, it still requires one to read all of the words.

Comments

msagara
Nov. 6th, 2004 08:44 am (UTC)
On history of romance: Must consider the way books are released in lines and series, and buyers can subscribe to lines/imprints and collect the whole set. There's nothing exactly analogous in sf/f.

No, nothing quite. But it's why Harlequin failed so badly with the Worldwide Library (does anyone even remember that? Besides pnh, that is).

However, the categories and the subscriptions were less about the bookstores -- and it's the bookstore stuff, or the move from the one to the other, that I think is interesting. I promise I'll be clear about the differences -- because I think the roots -- or branches -- of that are affecting the fiction market. Or the adult market, at any rate.