Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pop Authors

I know I've talked in the past about some of my most hated "Pop" authors. These are people who write crap fiction just to make money. Similar to pop music, they have a wide fan base and are relatively "successful" in their field because they can ride out waves of popularity. These novels will never become "classics" ( just thinking about a group of literature students reading James Patterson makes me weep) but that doesn't help the self esteem of authors who are attempting to write good and meaningful fiction.

Also, to go back to my old argument about the validity of speculative fiction, I'd like to point out that a lot of speculative fiction, although shunned by "literary buffs" is good and meaningful. Consider Cormac McCarthy's The Road. This is a novel set in the apocalyptic future (sci-fi) but has been met with critical acclaim. There are many authors out there that are making statements with their writing (not just trying to make a buck) but because it's in the genre of speculative fiction it gets overlooked. Consider Octavia E. Butler's Kindred. This is a novel, that if it didn't have the aspect of time travel *gasp* could potentially be considered just as important to Women's literature and African American literature as Beloved and The Color Purple.

Perhaps someday we'll live in a world that can look past genre for merit and look past pop fiction for entertainment.

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