Posted tagged ‘Slipstream’

I’m a Collection Development Expert Now

August 29, 2008

I just found out that WebJunction has me listed as one of four blog resources for collection development.  I’m flattered, but I actually feel that that distinction is a bit inappropriate, and I don’t think that’s false modesty on my part.  Sure I’ve discussed the subject a few times, and I enjoy writing book reviews, but it is an aspect of tech services that I have no formal training in.

I can probably claim some expertise as a selector for graphic novels, but besides that all I have to go on are my own reading habits, which probably don’t make a great basis for building up anyone else’s collection.  Besides tons of comics I mostly read New Wave, Slipstream, and New Weird S.F., hard-boiled detective, and anything by either Haruki Murakami or M.T. Anderson.  All of which makes me a great selector as long as the target audience is solely the attendees at Readercon, but probably disqualifies me from anyone else.

Oh, and just to clear up some other confusion from WebJunction, I am a guy.

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Are Genres Past their Prime?

May 19, 2008

This is something I’ve been pondering a lot lately.  Actually for most of my life based on my own reading habits, which tend to defy easy classification (China Mieville, Joe R. Lansdale, Chuck Palahniuk, etc…).  Mieville is a particularly good example, in that he pretty much represents the New Weird movement.  The New Weird is one of three fairly recent movements within the f&sf community that seek to combine the tropes of multiple genres for various effects (the others being Slipstream and Interstitial).   Mieville’s stories (particularly his Bas Lag novels) have an incredible willingness to incorporate any and all literary devices as long as they can effectively tell the story.

This sort of genre merging isn’t anything terribly new, Star Trek was pitched as being about “a wagon train to the stars”, but it is gaining a new sort of prominence with every new vampire/romance series to hit the shelves.  With that in mind, I’m really wondering if it’s still useful to break out genre books into special collections.  At my library we catalog s.f., mystery, romance, and westerns separately, and any time we receive something that crosses a boundary we either place it wherever the previous book by that author went, or just give up and toss it in general fiction.

Obviously I hate this approach, but I’ve been unable to come up with something that will both appease our patrons who seek out those collections and my own sense of accuracy.  So if anyone out there on the interwebs has any suggestions please let me know, because frankly I’m at a bit of a loss.