Friday, May 20, 2011
Well, here are a couple timely developments.
I had no idea this would be so conveniently unfolded, too.
First, I appreciate the comments here (and in other places) about Dystopian fiction. Actually, I wasn't surprised by the consensus as much as... well... kind of relieved.
I was secretly hoping that nobody would make the claim The Marbury Lens is Dystopian YA -- even though I've heard the connection in the past.
There are lots of reasons why I bristled at the labeling of The Marbury Lens as Dystopian fiction, and here are some of them:
1. You know I hate being boxed in. To me, the whole Dystopian trend creates a set of pre-established conventions and elements that constrain reader expectations and, unfortunately make a lot of people roll their eyes.
Are there such things as hipster readers? I think there are, but it's secret and most of them violate some of the key tenets of hipsterdom (and I do have a blog post written all about what hipster readers are -- and what they should be). Coming soon.
That's also why I hate the whole concept of YA as a label (my H8 YA posts started a cyber explosion last year), and why I've already thrown out the future-wrench-in-the-works concept of Stick being a Middle Grade novel with YA issues that's written, really, for adults.
2. Bigger than the boxed-in by expectation notion, to me, is the more important idea that, not only do I NOT want to be a part of something that's trending, no matter how cool it may be (sorry -- an obvious personality defect), but I always want to write stuff that makes people scratch their collective noggins, argue, and say what the heck IS this?
So, back when I was writing The Marbury Lens, whenever I was asked about what I was working on, I told some of my friends the following:
I'm writing a fantasy that isn't really a fantasy.
And, they were consistently, like, what?
But that was the only way I could explain what The Marbury Lens was to me.
So, on to the synchronously timely development.
Yesterday, a librarian friend of mine in Texas [Attention, Texas: I owe you. I do have so many terrific fans and supporters in that great state.] sent me a note, asking if I'd seen this most recent edition of Booklist.
I had not.
Well, not only does Jack and The Marbury Lens grace THE ENTIRE COVER of Booklist, but the magazine lists The Marbury Lens in its listing of the "Top 10 SF/Fantasy for Youth 2011."
And, to be honest, if the trapezoidality of The Marbury Lens must be slipped into a very round hole, I'm pretty much okay with it being the SF/Fantasy hole.
Especially as opposed to the one labeled with the made-up "D" word.
You can see Booklist (and Jack) here.