Critical Linking: April 27, 2013

Only about a quarter of science fiction novels are written by women; for fantasy and combination novels, it’s closer to half. This gap suggests that women writers are running up against the same division that causes so much trouble for us in other corners of the geek universe: the split between hardcore and casual fans.

So fantasy is casual and science fiction is hardcore? Are you sure?


It’s like zebras at the watering hole being asked to creatively change their stripes as the lions approach. Given the recent DOJ dust-up with the major publishers over e-book pricing, those zebras can’t even organize their own escape. Poor, poor zebras.

I can’t quite get my head around the idea of publishers as prey, but I appreciate the simile.


Ultimately, people don’t showroom to be spiteful, they do it because it’s an easy way for them to get a better deal. Put another way, showrooming is a market signal that buyers find bookstores useful, but not good value for money. 

I have a confession.  I am an occasional showroomer. I would feel better about myself if indie bookstores would take this lady’s advice.


Melvin said, “I apologize my cell phone went off.” Because he was trying to close a New Jersey housing deal. I said to Melvin, “If a work can’t incorporate a ringing cell phone, then it’s dead.”

I am not familiar with David Shield’s work, but I think this observation is enough to make me want to check him out.


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