30 December 2014

true literature

Like many of you, I've had a little time off recently. I've used the time to catch up on some reading including Norman Spinrad's interesting Asimov's essay "Genre versus Literature" in which he states true literature ... enlightens the mind, touches the heart, explores the feedback relationship between consciousness and the cultural and physical surround, raises and/or answers moral questions, and does so with a dramatic, entertaining and apropos story that climaxes in a satisfying epiphany.

That’s true literature. That’s good literature. And genre has nothing to do with it. It transcends genre by ignoring its requirements or fulfilling the requirements of as many genres as it pleases and ignoring all genre restrictions. At its best that’s great literature.

This is an excellent goal for all writers to aspire to. Look at your story. What does it teach the reader about the human condition? If the answer is nothing, maybe it's time to go back to the drawing board. I better get back to work myself.

In the meantime, the deadline for our first 2015 issue of Electric Spec is on the horizon: January 15, 2015.

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