Thursday, January 29, 2009

Martin Morse Wooster, Silver Spring MD

Laura Haywood-Cory makes many valid arguments. In the age of the Internet, people; come to fandom in all sorts of ways, and we ought to allow lots of fandoms at our cons, as long as groups are quiet and don't try to drown out or intimidate people. But I prefer to spend time with people who read a lot. I don't have very much in common with the avid filker or costumer. And it doesn't seem unreasonable to me that reading and writing ids the center of what our fandom does, and we ought to give precedence as fan guests of honor to fen who do a lot of reading and writing.

Joseph Green makes some interesting points, but I don't think he can extrapolate from a list of who won the Hugo for best novel to reach the conclusion that "SF writers are pulling back from the vastness and openness of interstellar space to return to Earth." Individual Hugo races have their own quirks. Lots of fans have read Harry Potter, for example, but I think the reaction to J.K. Rowling's indifference to winning the Hugo (for what IMHO is her weakest book) ensured that none of her other novels would even be nominated. Similarly, Michael Chabon's Hugo win does not seem a forerunner of a string of victories for alternate universe Jewish dystopias. Green would have made a stronger case if he addressed Geoff Ryman's movement for Mundane SF, which calls for realistic near-future stories that don't involve space travel or time travel.

I enjoyed the many animal stories, with the best pieces being those by Sheryl Birkhead and Mike Resnick. The smartest dog I ever knew was Jefe (or, as his owner called him, "Jeffy").

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