I think, sadly, because of the world recession and the exponential commercialisation of fiction via literary agents, and the arrival of ebooks, it means that new fiction works residing in real books – as susceptible to literary theory or other traditional thoughtful reviewing – will increasingly be left to the interests of an internet coterie. But this allows the danger of nepotism, of course. But a deliberate conscious approach to the text itself rather than to the author may avoid this danger within any coterie.
I think both nepotism and ‘flashmobs’ within internet communities are fed from the same roots of human nature. I repeat my general point that close observance to the book’s text alone – rather than to the author’s background or intentions or the book as part of a writing career etc. – would go some way to solving this. Dare I say that I try to do this in my Real-Time Reviews?
You’ll never do away with human nature. And both sides of an internet argument are capable of rustling up ‘flashmobs’ to their aid. And a lot of people have received black marks unjustifiably and justifiably for all manner of different internet arguments in recent years … without due attention to the subtlety of that argument, a subtlety that is more obvious when in face to face debate.
Brainstorming further, if we can cumulatively add adjustable ‘baffles’ into the communication pipeline to stop anything flowing through other than disciplined textual analysis – then for the better. For the better, in the new special circumstances of the internet.
I reckon also that someone should experiment on publishing un-bylined or late-labelled or anonymous fiction.