Terry Goodkind jumping the genre ship?

Andrew Wheeler’s take on Terry Goodkind’s new book deals.

One of the things the post got me thinking about was the idea that by writing mainstream novels instead of genre, you’re somehow a better class of writer.

Is it a holdover from the days of ’50s pulp?  Or is it just the rather odd concept that the majority of genre writers are mediocre hacks churning out formulaic by-the-numbers kak in order to meet deadlines?

I like to write stories about people and things that interest me. Strange things, strange people. Guess if that makes me a genre hack then I’ll happily wear the mantle. It just saddens me that we compartmentalise fiction so readily, and that often translates to people not reading a book because “all that fantasy crap about dragons and elves” or “westerns in space – I don’t get it – give me a book about normal people.”

Which makes very little sense to me because I don’t think any story is totally driven by Joe Ordinary. We read and write about people bigger than ourselves – whether it’s romance, SF, literary,  thrillers, chicklit, or mainstream.

So – what’s your opinion?


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One Thought on “Terry Goodkind jumping the genre ship?

  1. Goodkind was in a bit of a conundrum after Sword of Truth finished — how the hell do you follow on something that was so popular and got so much attention?
    Few do, and going to another genre is a gamble, but maybe a smart move, dodging the fantasy bullet as it were (expectation of another uber series; mind you, how many such series does any one person have in them?)

    That latter might be the thing — he might not have anything left to write in fantasy and why not try another genre?

    I’m hesitant with opinions here one way or the other, since I don’t know his motivations and decisions. If it is about respectability (and there’s some strong evidence of that), then he pulled a Rowling and man that’s sad. Pissing on the people who laid the foundation for you getting the uber deals.

    is life, is people, and people are obsessed with believing that their own particular brand of niche interest, tunnel visioned ideal of something is the One, True, Purest and Highest expression of that thing.
    In this case, in writing where the lit fic writers certainly have the most arrogance and most loudly pontificate on their own importance.

    Which is sad, because there are lit writers I like, and they tend not to do this.
    Then again, there’s definitely a strong current of condescension among hardcore skiffy towards fantasy, from both writers and readers.

    Hubris, vanity, arrogance — it exists everywhere.
    Personally, I don’t pay it much attention anymore. Good on him for trying something new and if it works, all the better. No harm to me.

    We read and write about people bigger than ourselves

    Do we Cat? or do we write about people who become bigger and larger than ourselves? there’s a difference between those two concepts. The former is part and parcel of the Chosen One Cult that gets me riled, and the latter is the “an ordinary person” kind of story I love.
    It’s not so much Joe Ordinary, as Joe Ordinary who becomes extraordinary when the extraordinary happens.
    my opinion, my preferences:)

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