Too Many Books

Just finished posting to Locus Online a page of new book descriptions — though only about half of all those I’ve seen or received or have purchased in the last month; as many as I have time to do today. I recently rejected an essay submitted for the website whose thesis was that the current state of SF publishing is moribund, that SF is in a slump, drowned by media tie-ins, no inspiring ideas anymore, etc etc. Spider Robinson’s toastmaster speech at the Toronto Worldcon is only the most prominent recent example of this charge; it’s a recurring theme. (Gabe Chouinard’s rants against fat fantasy novels are another variation.) On this matter I’m on Gardner Dozois’ side; there are plenty of good books published of every variety, more than any one reader can possibly keep up with, unless their criteria for acceptable fiction are so specific as to be impossibly restrictive. Sure you may have to wade past the bestsellers and the media ties to find the books worth reading, but that’s not difficult to do — that (ahem) is what Locus’ and Locus Online’s reviews and listings are designed to help with! All these complainers just aren’t trying.

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