Lizard Brain is a shared blog about Science Fiction and Fantasy from Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.

NYT and Slate: Reviewing the Reviewers

04.16.11
by Daniel Abraham

The guys at Orbit asked my my opinion.  I said.

“From the creative writing professor who won’t accept “that kind” of work to the friend who sneers at you for buying the latest Harry Dresden to the professional critic who will make grand

Above: The odds-on favorite in the Westeros v NYT softball tournament

generalizations instead of real arguments, people who are interested in high culture – and in gaining social status by what they read and who they look down on – have always found an easy target in fantasy and science fiction.  If they were strapped down and shown the importance and relevance of Ursula Le Guin, Philip K Dick, Octavia Butler, Stephen King, and the other giants in the field, it wouldn’t help. Be angry at the sun for setting if these things anger you, (he says, quoting Robinson Jeffers).

But they bring up what is, to me, a more interesting question.  The editors of Slate and the New York Times have selected these people and given them high-status venues from which to express their opinions.  They expect me and their other readers to appreciate these reviews and to care what the reviewers think.  My question is: why?”

Here’s the rest.

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