Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[writing] Post New Weird?

pauljessup asks if we are entering a Post New Weird season. As mme_publisher said a while back, "What was wrong with the Old Weird?"

It shouldn't come as a suprise to anyone that I have mixed feelings about the subgenre/movement game. At the same time, it would be idiotic of me to pretend that there aren't fads and fashions in literature, just like anything else. I've been reading scalzi lately, whose work I've seen described as the New Comprehensible. Even that name is a reaction to the New Weird. And he's certainly eschewed the roccoco excrescences that so characterize the New Weird in favor of a second-coming-of-Heinlein approach to story telling, to great success in several sense of the word "success."

You can chart a relationship from cyberpunk to slipstream (via mis/reinterpretation of Sterling's original essay), slipstream to New Weird (via VanderMeer and others), and New Weird to New Comprehensible. I'm not sure how New British Space Opera fits in there (meaning Peter Hamilton etc). The question is, is it meaningful? As I've said before, movements are a self-conscious identification by writers. Subgenres are a marketing category.

The real value, besides being a parlor game for writers, is providing "if you liked this, you'll love that" information for the readers, isn't it?
Tags: publishing, writing

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