Ingenuity, or perhaps disingenuity?
Ah, the wonders of fantasy. Terry Brooks, Tolkien, the guy who wrote the Belgariad.
The awe-inspiring heights of science fiction. Asimov, Dune, Ender's Game.
And then there's me, sitting over here clutching my pearls anytime someone brings up the greats. "Oh, I, uh, haven't actually read them, because I don't read anything in the genre I'm writing." I'm so great at logic.
I'm not one to consider myself a victim of imposter syndrome; I know who and what I am, to a greater inch than anyone else knows me, as is proper. Still, I wonder if by writing a sci-fi/fantasy novel, there's some expectation that I've consumed the greatest authors in my genre/s. I've read, like, one whole Terry Brooks novel. I got ten minutes into the Dune audiobook and wondered why anyone bothered. I read the first three pages of A Game of Thrones. I got a book and a half into Lord of the Rings before realizing that the only passage in all of that I was ever going to remember was the part about Tom Bombadil, who could easily have just took a running leap at Mordor and flipped over the mountains, cannon-balling into the fires of Mount Doom like it was the local swimming hole if only he felt like it. Spoiler alert: he could not for one whole second be arsed. [shrugs in Gandalf]
Now, that's not to say I've never consumed anything sci-fi; like all normal people, I've seen every episode of Star Trek at one point or another, as well as every movie of Star Wars and a couple kids' novels. I've read, like, two books by a paranormal romance author set in a sci-fi setting. Likewise, I was deeply passionate about Tamora Pierce's novels, and they factor heavily into the inspiration of my setting.
But the greats? The ones people have been raving about for generations? I just don't get the appeal. I know there's nothing inherently wrong with not enjoying any particular book for the same reasons other people think it's great, but it feels honestly a little disingenuous of me to say that I'm trying to be part of any given genre when I have a rather serious distaste for everyone who came before me.
In my dreams, I'm on a Women of Sci Fi panel someday and people are asking me about my inspirations. It's at this point that it stops being a dream and becomes a nightmare, because I have to admit to only having Star Trek and Star Wars as inspirations because I thought every other sci fi book I read was boring. Shortly thereafter, I lose all of my fans for being a joke of an author who doesn't read what I pretend to write.
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