I finished Harry Potter 5 — Order of the Phoenix — and have started 6, Half-Blood Prince, hoping to finish before I leave next Tuesday for Glasgow.

The newsgroup I mentioned last time erupted into a frenzy of posts for and against Rowling the Harry Potter series, some defending it as enjoyable light entertainment, others decrying it as a waste of time for seasoned readers of fantasy for whom so many better writers are available. In light of that I might rephrase my earlier comment involving the word ‘snob’ to something about ‘backlash’. I have no quarrel with anyone’s taste about any particular writer or book; what troubles me is the deliberate neglect by ‘insiders’ in the SF/F/H field of those representatives of the fantastic genres who’ve made it big in the mundane world. That Rowling has no background or interest, apparently, in the genre may be part of it. But it’s easy to suspect that, in 50 or 100 years, all that will be remembered in the culture of the time of our fields might well be Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter.

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