Amazon, Popularity, and a List that We Really Don’t Need

I’ve been in Huntsville, Alabama this weekend, attending ConStellation as their Literary Guest of Honor. It’s been a good con. They’ve treated me well and worked me hard, which is just as it should be. But that didn’t leave me a whole lot of time for writing my post, and so for that reason I’m going to take a one week hiatus from my various post-series that I have ongoing on MW right now (Writing and Fear; Ideas)

But I did want to comment on something that happened this past week (and was brought to my attention by our own Mindy Klasky). Amazon.com has started ranking authors by sales numbers — or “popularity,” as they put it. Apparently it’s no longer enough for the folks at Amazon to drive us authors to distraction with the sales rankings of our individual books. Now they’ve decided to rank us, too, to make […]

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Fantasy Is Not Safe

For a long time now, fantasy fiction has gotten a bad rap. Just a few days ago I was listening to two people on the radio who couldn’t have been more contemptuous of fantasy fiction if they’d tried. Fantasy was ridiculous, they said. All those dwarves and unicorns, and no real emotions driving anything along. Plot? Forget it – what fantasy writers considered brilliant was no better than a fifth-grader’s love poetry, without the Yes and No boxes to check. Their disdain oozed from the speakers and honestly, it got on my nerves. Genre fiction was formulaic and predictable, they yawned, and therefore couldn’t possibly be considered good. Much less literature. I was angry about what I’d heard, but I decided that two peoples’ opinions weren’t enough to get myself in a lather over. For one thing, nothing I ranted and screamed about would do a thing to change those […]

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