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Mopping up

Whew! I’m surprised & delighted by the amount of debate that spun out of the mention of punkrocker1991‘s editorial. Very cool! Russ, I suspect you really could do with some functioning forums over at Ticonderoga Online.

I like that people are willing to engage on this, & that the intelligent to-ing & fro-ing rarely degenerates into the kind of sound & fury that signifies nothing. Seems like there’s a real itch to discuss a whole bunch of things related to writing & genre & Oz SF & editing & taste & quality & so on. Some really interesting ideas continue to emerge even now. I suspect there is no end to it, so I’m pausing to give you some highlights of the discussion thus far.

oldcharliebrown takes issue with punkrocker1991‘s counting in this early thread, prompting Ellen Datlow to drop by & point out how many Australians were in her Year’s Best. (Answer = 4 very good ones.)

llbatt & jonathanstrahan start an interesting discussion about quality, with many of the rest of us taking a bite from that pie, too, & then llbatt says

Let me ask you a question that probably lies at the heart of what we’re discussing. You’ve been around a lot longer than me, so I’m really very interested in your opinion: why aren’t there any post 92/95 Australians who have made that great leap? What’s missing?

jonathanstrahan very politely ignores llbatt‘s implication that he is the Old Man of Oz Genre, & makes a very insightful reply here.

jiraiyac starts a thread on editing here.

benpayne follows this up over on his blog.

benpeek, failing to get an answer to his question about ‘world class writing’, takes the devil by the horns over here.

Debate turns to editing, & jiraiyac wades in with some powerful words to chill the blood of all little writers like me. And gillpolack invokes two powerful allies in improving & assessing the State of Things: editing, and time. Then she comments in her blog:

No writer should be dissed as part of a mass product: individualism is one of the hallmarks of the industry.”

girliejones asks some questions that get to the heart of it, I’d say, when she approaches punkrocker1991 with:

So would your argument then be that publishing more material does not increase the quality of our writing? IS that then not an issue for editors and publishers rather than writers?
What if in a country of this size we can only ever have a handful of top quality writers? Is the market then overflooded with publications perhaps?

We will have to await Russ’s reply, but meantime angriest has just given us this equation to think about:

People buying = more publishing = more writing = writing tends to improve.

I apologise to those I haven’t been able to mention. There have been so many interesting ideas & I am dumb with headcold today, so I think I’ve hit my mental limit.

And via blackholly, something to lighten the mood.