On Listening to Experts

Magazines like Writer’s Digest make their living off advising budding authors on how to make money. They are people who set themselves up as experts in the writing industry. Today they put out an article on “popular fiction” that purports to advise readers what is currently “hot” in genre. And they don’t just rely on their own knowledge. They talk to experts in the field. Jane Johnson, for example, certainly knows what sells. But they also talked to someone called Crawford Kilian who apparently wrote a book called Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy. Some of his advice includes the following:

Kilian notes the rise of traditional (hard) science-fiction writers like Neil Gaiman

I do hope that’s a typo. (And to be fair he did mention Rudy Rucker as well.)

7 thoughts on “On Listening to Experts

  1. I knew if I kept going long enough I’d become a hard SF writer.

    If you’re interred properly, in a few thousand years you might become an ossified SF writer.

  2. Thanks for the mention. In my book on writing SF and fantasy, I list Gaiman as a “religious fantasy” writer, since so many of his novels involve gods as characters. He’s great fun, but I don’t consider him “hard SF.”

    And I didn’t apparently write my book, or the 11 SF and fantasy novels that taught me the craft. They’re all absolutely real.

  3. Hello Crawford, thanks for dropping in. Good to know that it wasn’t your fault. Now I shall have to look for your book.

    It can indeed be embarrassing to be badly misquoted, but at least it amused Neil so it can’t be all bad. Dunno about “religious fantasy” though. I’m sure you defined it in the book, but out of context it sounds a bit like the “Left Behind” books.

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