Tag Archives: meta

Endings and Beginnings

When a man comes to the end of any road let him remember that the end is not yet and a new way shall open for him.
—Andre Norton

After 655 posts, Genreville’s time as an independent entity is coming to an end. As of today, along with PW‘s audiobook blog, Listen Up, it has been folded into PWxyz, the main PW blog.

This is definitely not the end of Genreville as a concept. I’ll still be tweeting interesting news and links at @genreville; SF/F-related posts on PWxyz will be in the “Genreville” category. I’ll post regularly there (my first post is up already), and we’ll have some great guest bloggers. So please do add PWxyz to your RSS readers and you’ll get all the excellent posts from our other contributors as well–or if you really truly only want Genreville posts, just subscribe to the category feed.

Thanks so much for all your support and thoughtful comments over the years. Josh and I have had a ton of fun making Genreville a place you want to visit. See you on the flip side!

More Encyclopedic Digital Goodness

Graham Sleight writes to inform me that the 1997 edition of the Encyclopedia of Fantasy has gone live online in much the same format as the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. From the announcement:

The Encyclopedia of Fantasy was edited in the 1990s by John Clute and John Grant. It’s resided for a while in the same electronic format as the Sf Encyclopedia. As we updated the Sf Encyclopedia, we became aware that in several places there were overlaps between the two. (Tolkien, for instance, is surely much better thought of as a fantasy than an sf writer.) There were also cross-references between the two that we had to leave un-linked, and that nagged… So, with the kind permission of editors Clute and Grant, our technical magus David Langford set about seeing if that could be resolved.

The current implementation is thanks to an enormous amount of work from David. The FE has been added to the site in much the same way as the SFE: one entry per page, with the usual facilities to go to next/previous entries etc. Probably the best place to start is the introduction to the online edition. You can also browse a list of all entries, or just of entries by category (for instance, author, artist, theme…) You’ll see the usual search box in the right-hand sidebar. Cross-references between the SFE and FE should now work smoothly, but please contact us if you see any that don’t.

We are not updating the Fantasy Encyclopedia, at least for the moment. Getting the Sf Encyclopedia complete and accurate remains our priority.

Both works are tremendous resources, and deliciously addictive in that “hours of fascinated clicking” sort of way. Highly recommended.


In an unrelated administrative note, Genreville is being hammered with comment spam, so I’ve turned off commenting on all posts more than 14 days old. If you have something to say about an old post, or if your comment has been held in moderation for a million years and you think I might have flagged it as spam by accident, please feel free to email me.

Here Comes Sandy

PW has beautiful offices on the 16th floor of a high-rise building in NYC’s Flatiron District. We have a great view of the Hudson River and lower Manhattan. Needless to say, that’s currently a great view of a whole lot of very wet wind, so I’m not at work today; I’m safe at home in Brooklyn, miles from the evacuation zones, editing reviews on my laptop because it feels weird not to be working on a Monday. My fabulous partner Xtina just finished organizing our SF/F/H library (yes, we moved nine months ago, but it’s a big undertaking!) so we have plenty of reading material easily to hand. If cabin fever gets to be too much for us, we’ll distract ourselves by figuring out the best way to put ARCs into LibraryThing.

Con Ed is considering turning off power below 34th Street, so PW‘s in-house email server has been shut down. If you need to reach me about something PW-related, leave a comment here or tweet @genreville. And if you’re in Hurricane Sandy’s path, stay safe and dry!

Genreville’s Comment Policy

Sometime in the next few days, I’m going to be putting up a post that asks readers to comment on a rather sensitive issue. I expect many people will want to contribute to the conversation but not give their legal or working names. Given that, I want to make a few things clear about the comment policy here.

We welcome pseudonymous comments.

When you comment, you need to put some text in the Name field. It does not have to be your legal name, or anything that even looks like a legal name. If you want to hide your identity, please use a pseudonym rather than “Anonymous” because it makes it easier to conduct a conversation, especially if multiple people are posting anonymously, but the pseudonym doesn’t have to be connected to any other names you might use elsewhere; all I ask is that you consistently use one and only one name in any given post.

You also have to put something that looks like an email address in the Email Address field. The only person who sees the email address is me. If you want to hide your identity from me, you can use an address like me@example.com, or a throwaway free address from a site like Gmail or Yahoo! if you want to be able to subscribe to comments.

If you want to protect your identity but are concerned that your comments may not be taken seriously without real-world context, you may request credibility verification. How this works: You email the text of your comment to rfox@publishersweekly.com from your usual name and email address. I post the comment under whatever pseudonym you want to use, and add an editorial note describing you in general terms so readers know why your comment is relevant. The comment would look something like this:

I was also sexually harassed by that editor. I never spoke up because I felt it would put my career at risk.

Editorial verification: This comment is from an award-winning female author. /rjf

I will run the verification note past you before I post it, so you can be confident that it establishes your credibility without exposing your identity. I will never share your identifying information with anyone. This is my best attempt to create a blog equivalent to “The official spoke with us on condition of anonymity”.

All comments are held for approval. I approve them as quickly as I can. Note that held comments may still be sent out to people who subscribe to email notifications; please don’t put anything in a comment that you wouldn’t want the whole world to see.

My general policy is to approve all non-trolling, non-spam comments. I reserve the right to make exceptions.

These policies are mine, not PW‘s, and may not be applicable on any other PW blog.

If you have any questions about this, please do let me know.

Happy Anniversary to Me

My fourth anniversary as a PW editor was on Saturday! I can’t believe I almost forgot to blog about it. I sure picked four exciting years to spend here: multiple rounds of layoffs, near-closure, change of leadership (twice), change of ownership, change of offices… looking back on all the turmoil makes me even more glad for the relative calm of the past year, where the most stress I’ve had to contend with was closing down the mass market reviews section and creating the romance reviews section. And that was a very good sort of stress, to be sure.

On my first day at work, I wrote in my personal blog:

My desk came pre-equipped with the Chicago Manual of Style (14th ed.), a dictionary, and a thesaurus.

There is a cart of reference books labeled REFERENCE–DO NOT TAKE to distinguish it from the two carts of ARCs that are entirely up for grabs. I confirmed and double-confirmed that really, truly, I may take as many of those as I like.

My office has a library. A small one, granted, but still. A library. In my office.

I totally win.

Four years later, I still feel just as giddy when I look around my workspace. I love being part of this scrappy little 139-year-old independent publication. I love recommending books for a living. The work is great, my colleagues are great, and I feel like I really do some good in the world. Before this, the longest I’d ever spent at a job was a year and a half, and the longest I’d ever spent being happy at a job was about ten months. Now I can easily see myself staying here and doing this as long as they want to keep me around. That’s a very good feeling.

Talking About My Generation

Like many fans, I grew up on the classics like Heinlein, Asimov and Clarke for science fiction, and Tolkien, Eddings and Anthony for fantasy. For me, those were the voices of an older generation, well established as the masters of what they were doing.  My mother introduced me to some of her favorite books, and friends who I played Dungeons and Dragons with told me what they liked to read.

It was only after I really started thinking about genre fiction in depth that I started looking at the voices of my generation.  Unlike the classics of my youth, there’s a sense of literary lineage, and an awareness of the artifice of it all in so many of them.  These are writers who have studied literature outside of what the genre contains.  You can see the clear footprint of noir stylings in China Mieville’s The City and The City, and classical literary studies in almost anything by Pamela Dean, especially in Tam Lin.  Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death has elements of postcolonial African culture you’d never see in anything Eddings touched.  Mary Robinette Kowal’s Shades of Milk and Honey draws on the work of Jane Austen.

My generation’s science fiction and fantasy thinks not only about ourselves and the future, or ourselves and the fantastic, but also about the history of literature, and where what’s being written fits in with that, references it, and plays with it.  My perspective is that we’re seeing more of this, and it’s independent of any in-genre literary movement.

I think I might be seeing it more often in fantasy, but The City and The City is arguably science fiction. Sometimes when we’re lucky, Catherynne M. Valente dips her hand into science fiction as well.  I think science fiction has a lot of room to expand if writers are willing to play around with existing literary movements and experiment stylistically.

Where might this experimentation lead us to?  Who else is doing it, and how are they doing it?

The Weekend’s Awards

Over on PWxyz, I give the rundown of all the spec fic–related awards that were announced this weekend. My favorite is the Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award. A couple of years ago, I was in the ballroom at Readercon when Barry Malzberg announced Stanley G. Weinbaum as that year’s Cordwainer Smith winner. The several hundred people in the room burst into spontaneous applause and I got very choked up (as did Barry, I think). I love the idea of these authors getting the respect they still deserve, and of their works once again seeing the light of day after decades of collecting dust.

Incidentally, please don’t worry that Genreville will go away now that I’m contributing to PWxyz as well; the two serve very different purposes. Josh and I plan to keep Genreville around for many years to come.

SFWA Has Put Night Shade on Probation

SFWA president John Scalzi isn’t wasting any time making use of the powers of his new office:

We are heartened that Night Shade has issued an apology and has pledged to correct its problems. These are needed first steps for a growing publisher that has published some memorable science fiction and fantasy in the last few years, including this year’s Nebula Award winner for Best Novel, The Windup Girl. Regardless of reasons given, such behavior by a publisher to its authors is unacceptable.

With these facts in mind, Night Shade Books is on probation as a qualified SFWA market for a period of one year, effective immediately.

Over the last couple of years, SFWA has really tried to act more as a writers’ union. I wonder whether this will encourage more people to join, and will encourage members who have problems with publishers to bring their complaints to SFWA’s attention.

I also can’t help but notice that they link to Genreville posts and, uh, no one else’s. And that this all happened after I wrote about it, even though Williams and Halpin had been on record with their complaints for weeks. I think I might have to stop thinking of this as my little news blog that nobody reads.

PW’s New Home

We’re pulling up stakes and moving a few blocks down the street. As of June 3rd, our mailing address will be:

Publishers Weekly
71 West 23rd Street, Suite 1608
New York, NY 10010

Any materials submitted for review should be addressed to the appropriate department, e.g. “SF/F/H reviews” or “mass market reviews”. If you want to make absolutely sure that something reaches me, or if you’re sending an unusual interstitial book and want us to know to cover it under SF/F/H, attach a note or Post-It that says “Attn. Rose Fox” to the cover of the book or ARC itself. Our submission guidelines remain the same. I suggest waiting a few days before sending mail to the new address, as everything’s always a bit chaotic after a move.

My email address will also be changing, to rfox@publishersweekly.com. I don’t have access to that email yet, though, so don’t send anything there until June 3rd! In the meantime, rose@genreville.com always works.

Genreville’s Blogroll

One of the casualties of the server change was our blogroll. We have our own ideas of what should go on it, of course, but we’d like to solicit your suggestions as well. What are your favorite sites for catching up on news and other information related to genre publishing? Who are the must-read genre bloggers?

Book Trailers

Harry Connolly mentioned that he was thinking of making a book trailer for his upcoming book Game of Cages, and a fan helpfully created this one:

Connolly’s response: “The folks at Random House are going to be so excited!”

Let’s test out our shiny new WordPress setup: in the comments, link to your favorite book trailers. Note that if you haven’t previously had a comment approved on the new site, or if your comment contains more than two links, the comment will be held for approval. I’ll go through and approve them all as soon as I can.

Ooh, Shiny!

Those of you reading via RSS should click through to see PW‘s lovely new website. (Did you know that AP Style now prefers “website” over “Web site”? It’s about time!) I’m tremendously impressed that our awesome web guys have gotten it up so quickly and made it look so good. Please do take a look around and let me know what you think.