Falling Sky

2/12/10

Too Good Not to Share

Tim Akers, in an email to me this morning:
"I think it's important to understand that fantasy in general and steampunk in specific are in danger of being constrained by their definitions. What's exciting about steampunk is that we're on the very edge of something that's being born, and we don't really know what it can become. The more we work at defining it, though, the less potential the thing has. Real innovation can only happen in undefined spaces, in chaotic environments. We, as authors and publishers and lovers of genre, have to force ourselves to work at the edge of things, to be unafraid of stepping out into a void of unknown potential. It's only when we give up comfortable tropes that we can do something genuine and fresh and, well, innovative."

2 comments:

Noel said...

I couldn't agree more! I've had this very same thought--particularly as regards the need to constantly create new subgenres to label books. I understand why--people like to have a category so that they can say, "I like ____." But to me it's all fantasy, and the less we stringently define things, the better.

dave said...

Isn't this largely marketing-driven though? I would imagine it's much easier to sell a book by categorizing it in the same way as another, popular book. I tend to think, for example, of "urban fantasy" as a way for a publisher to say, "If you like Laurell Hamilton (or Charlaine Harris or Kim Harrison or whatever), you'll like this."