Sunday, July 05, 2015

The Weekend Writer: More Genre

Last weekend, I wrote about writing genre for children. This weekend, I'm sending you to "Let's Talk About Genre": Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro in Conversaton (Neil Gaiman--The Graveyard Book and Kazuo Ishiguro--Never Let Me Go.) This is what might be called a wide-ranging discussion. I don't think there's anything definitive about genre here, but lots of interesting stuff. For instance:
  • Gaiman talks about the difference between novels with spies or cowboys in them and spy or cowboy novels. The second kind would be genre. I was thinking about this today. Is there such a thing as a novel with an alien in it that isn't an alien genre book? Just wondering.
  • Ishiguro tells of moving to Britain as a child and his surprise when viewing flashy fight scenes in Zorro or Robin Hood complete with banter. Very different from the samurai tradition he was familiar with. He likes westerns, though, and neatly draws The Illiad into his discussion of them.
  • Then Neil Gaiman talks about improving literature! And he tells a great story about why China began approving of science fiction and fantasy a few years back.
Lots of good reading.

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