Tuesday, March 21, 2006

*Cricket*, *Cricket*

Sorry I've been so quiet. Actually, I've been cheating on you. I joined one of those Live Journal communities (one called whileaway, which is a feminist fantasy and science fiction literature group) in order to talk more about books – actually, a certain book, and I've already wrote a missive about it here, and I really wanted more than what you gave me.

Well. Now the cat's out. Try not to cry. I still love you.

Anyway, I was talking to my friend April the other night and we both agreed that it's really kind of a shame that you can walk up to almost any science fiction fan and talk about the latest movie or TV show (ah, Battlestar Galactic-crack!) – but there's no place you can go where you're guaranteed to find someone who's read whatever book has been turning you on lately. You can surf the web for reviews, but that's not terribly interactive, you know?

I'm not trying to be some kind of literature snob here, because I'm not. I came into science fiction fandom by way of media. I saw Star Wars sixteen times in the theatre, and still didn't feel done with it. At my local library, some incredibly clever librarian put the Star Wars novelizations and books like Han Solo's Revenge right there in the science fiction section, so that when I finished with those I just randomly picked up one of the other SF books. I believe it was either one of the Nebula collections of short stories or possibly Philip Jose Farmer's Jesus on Mars, (which might explain a lot about my alternate self, wouldn't it?)

The point is, I enjoy talking media as much as the next geek, but I think part of the problem is that there's no way a person can keep up with all the SF&F and related genre books that come out in any given year. There's just too many. So finding six other people who happened to all pick up the same book (and who found time to read it) is pretty tough. And, of course, most books I read for pleasure don't make me really wound up. It's a rare book that gets me hopping – well, anything, mad, happy, torqued. Even books that make me think don't always get under my skin, you know?

Like the book I'm reading right now. It's called A Spectacle of Corruption by David Liss. It's a good book so far (I'm on page 88), but it's not SF or F. It's a mystery (my other genre of choice), and a historical one at that. I don't think it's going to be something I'll want to shout about though, other than the usual: hey, here's a good book.

This is an interesting thought, I suppose. I mean, is the point of writing to make someone think? Obviously, I don't think so. I generally write "beach books." I've always maintained that my whole purpose in writing to tell a "ripping good yarn." So... so what? What's my point? My point is that it's all good, but when a book makes you think it'd be cool if there were a bunch of people waiting in line to talk about it with you, don’t you think?


Zoe said...

*gasps* Leaving us for Livejournal? Land of the angsty teenagers? How could you?

Jesus on Mars? *perks up* That looks very intriguing. Okay, for directing us (well, me; I don't know whether your other readers are similarly intrigued or not) to that, I suppose you are forgiven.

And I agree, it's frustrating not to be able to talk books with people. It's hard enough to find other people who read, let alone other people who have read the same books as you.

tate said...

Angsty teenagers? Hmmmm. Uh, yeah, that's kind of my sense. :-)