Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Markley media juggernaut rolls on

I've been busy elsewhere this week. I am now a weekly columnist on science fiction and fantasy for the entertainment website You can see my first column for them here. It's got an introduction to Alistair Reynolds and my thoughts on his work. If you've got comments on it, please let me know.

SF Signal, I had the opportunity to participate in their most recent Mind Meld feature on Young Adult fiction. Which brings to the mind the following bizarre and embarrassing anecdote:

As I said in my Mind Meld contribution, I didn't read much Young Adult literature when I was a kid. I might have read more back when I was the target audience, if only the genre was named more precisely. Growing up, my mind was what you might call “lopsided”- I could read at a college level in elementary school, and yet made extremely silly and bizarre mistakes in daily life that would have embarrassed someone half my age. Case in point: As a child, the meaning of "Young Adult" as a book category had never been explained to me, and so I assumed the Young Adult section at the local library meant literal young adults- that is, people in their early twenties. This frustrated me, because that section had some stuff that seemed interesting to me, but I thought I wasn’t allowed to check any off it out from the library! I think I somehow thought I would get in trouble. Ironically, this left me with no choice but to borrow adult books from the regular science fiction area instead, since there was no specified age for them.

I also had the books my dad would pick up for me on his frequent business trips, which helped fuel my interest in science fiction. Many were quite good- that’s how I discovered Frederik Pohl, for instance- but he selected books more or less at random, which resulted in me reading some hilariously age-inappropriate technothrillers as a child. Reading the one (I’ve long forgotten the name) with the subplot about the female Russian spy having graphic sex with everyone under the sun to get American military secrets was quite a revelation for a 4th grader. At least I was careful to avoid the corrupting influence of the Young Adult section- who knows what filth might have been in there?

Stumble Upon Toolbar

No comments: