More memeage: In this edition, Young Geoffrey ponders genre and the comforts of the familiar.
8. What's your favorite genre to write? To read?
As I've re-discovered through the process of working through this meme, I started off writing SF as often as I did so-called mainstream stories. That shouldn't have been any surprise.
The first "grown up" fiction I read was Stanley G. Weinbaum's "A Martian Odyssey" in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame and I've been reading science fiction (and some fantasy) ever since. Not exclusively, far from it, but a plurality of my reading has been of those genres.
I suppose what should be surprising then, is that I pretty much stopped dabbling in genre.
Until I began working on my latest unfinished novel, The Valley of Shabathawan, which was very consciously a juvenile SF story in the spirit of Doctor Who, I've mostly written character-based fiction. Slice-of-life short stories and sociological/psychological coming-of-age novels.
More recently, I've dabbled in smut or, if you will, "literary erotica". Stories that are intended to engage the libido but that are also still, y'know, stories.
As for reading, well, I still read a lot of F and SF and much of that is, frankly, comfort-reading, the familiar in the strange, as it were. I haven't sunk to Star Trek or Doctor Who novels, but I rip through Analog every month and generally enjoy the comfort that comes from genre, even a genre as varied as science fiction.
I tell myself it is better than vegging out to sit-comes every afternoon, but Infinite Jest has been waiting for me to crack it open for a while now and it's about damned time I challenge myself again.
Which is not to say that all SF is pabulum. It isn't. There's genre and there's genre, as it were, just as there are romance novels or soap operas and there is Pride and Prejudice or War and Peace.
But just as I have done too little hard writing in recent years, so too have I done too little hard reading.This entry was originally posted at http://ed-rex.dreamwidth.org/12650.html. Comment there using OpenID, or here as per normal.