Reposted here because the original blog-city blog is being dismantled wholesale in due course
The Charity Anthology
This book will be a great book and hopefully will work well for its charity. It will last on bookshelves for years irrespective of the mechanics of its birth (of which most of its eventual readers will be unaware). That is good.
However, if I did not believe in ‘the intentional fallacy’, it would be inescapable to draw conclusions that it was specifically designed further to enflame an already enflamed situation in the relatively small world wherein it is publicised and from which it draws its stories.
Its method of blurred author invitation and subsequent dissemination, so far, has been woeful, to my eyes. But, of course, I may be wrong, as I have my own emotions of disappointment.
Many of us had a chance in Brighton to solve this problem like human beings should – and I, for one, tried and failed. I hope others tried, too.
I am seeing this matter with more perspective today. Although I stand by what I said above, I am looking forward to buying this book and real-time reviewing it – and supporting it and its editors and publisher towards success. Not that it won’t do well without my support. :)
2. Weirdmonger left…
And someone else on the same board: “Let’s just say I’m glad the writers I read as a kid remained unreachable and unknowable.”
I am now pleased to see that the book has been launched as a pre-order and with a splendid ToC. Things have clearly improved since I wrote the blog above (but I haven’t been on Facebook so I don’t really know) and I am doing all I can behind the scenes as well as, eventually, in front of them, i.e. with an eventual real-time review etc., to support its success. But, as I said before, though, it would inevitably be successful anyway judging by the ToC. :)
Having said that, I feel that some of what was said during that argument – where there were misunderstandings and dire hurts – has left a very bad taste in my mouth. I am not exonerating or blaming anyone in particular (including myself), but I cannot imagine – on quiet reflection in the last week or so – that I shall ever be able to return to the specific scene/context of that argument or take up again many of my enthusiasms or theories for various aspects in the field. Whether that is a weakness on my part, I’ll leave others to judge.
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I note that someone (in a quite different place) has been tentatively criticising the TOC of this book as not including any ‘coloured’ writer when seen in the light of its political thrust as a book on behalf of certain charities. My view is that the book will stand or fall on both the quality of the stories and their power to work for the book’s cause. Both, not either. As to its claim of being representative of a specific National ‘weird fiction’ subculture in its fight to support these certain charities – the TOC will need to bear scrutiny on this score if indeed that is the claim. But even if it doesn’t bear such scrutiny, my point above about the stories themselves still applies.
I would have personally preferred a book with an open story submission policy (even a Nemonymous approach in the light of a book against discrimination), but I would not approve of any method of ‘positive discrimination’ in the conscious choice of the cultures that the writers of the stories represent. But what *I* think is irrelevant. The book will stand or fall depending on how each reader evaluates it IN ITSELF as an anthology of weird fiction (its gestalt and leitmotifs) *and* as a furtherer of a certain cause.
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This thread has turned out to be a sort of diary on my thoughts as they develop on what has turned out to be the thorny topic of this anthology. (My eventual real-time review of it will take place on another thread). I have deliberately here not mentioned the title of the anthology or any ‘names’ connected with it. If anyone finds this thread (possibly unlikely) and chooses to add a comment here (which is a public comment place without membership), please ensure that you, too, do not name the anthology here etc. so that future readers of the book will not link here on any searches they may make. Any comments that name names will be deleted. :)
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Pleased to read the anthology seemed to have a good launch at the BFS in the last few days. But perturbed that I haven’t received my pre-ordered copy – which I intended to real-time review. I note someone else has been able to review it, though. :(
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As days turn into weeks into months, I fear that the personal and other poliitics surrounding this book will be negative for the Weird Fiction field (so called). However, I am determined to do whatever I can to ensure that the book will be a success, financially (for its charities). Once I get a copy…
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Discussion about the racial make up of the anthology’s authors: http://www.ligotti.net/showthread.php?p=49355#post49355
Discussion of the Financial Times reviewing the anthology: http://www.knibbworld.com/campbell-cgi/discus/show.cgi?tpc=1&post=66011#POST66011
Discussion of only the female authors in the anthology giving their views on a website: http://www.knibbworld.com/campbell-cgi/discus/show.cgi?tpc=1&post=67112#POST671127