Thursday, October 27, 2011

Minority Tastes

I won't say that I'm not an elitist -- why wouldn't anyone want to consider themselves elite? -- but I still deeply believe that the books that I love are intrinsically wonderful, and that enjoying them is something that any half-smart and basically literate person should be able to do.

Unfortunately, the world does not want to agree with me; I've just seen that Harry Connolly -- whose novel Game of Cages was one of the best things I read last year, and whose Circle of Enemies I've been holding onto for an upcoming vacation -- has  just been told that his current publisher will not be buying any more books in that series, for what seem like eminently sensible falling-sales reasons. (I'm in the business; I can access BookScan.)

This is not the first time, of course; one of my other favorite writers, Matt Hughes, had two "Big Six" publishers shot out from under him in three books -- three wonderful, amazing, lovely books, let me emphasize -- but has since gone on to write a number of excellent books for smaller houses.

And there are plenty of others -- Elizabeth Willey, the only writer I've ever found who can do pseudo-Zelazny Amber, and did it well, disappeared after three novels. Before that, there was a writer who had two screamingly funny Bertie-Wooster-as-a-ghost-hunter paperbacks (and whose name I can't remember), and she also disappeared without a trace.

I know you people -- the ones reading these words now -- must be the exceptions, but the world, more and more, seems to be filled with people whose tastes are just inexplicably horrible. Luckily, I still harbor hopes of becoming Emperor of the Literary World one day, and then I will make everything Right.

For right now, good luck to Connolly -- and, if you've been putting off grabbing his books, do it now, since low-selling books are the ones that it's murder to find later on -- and to all of those other absolutely amazing writers whom it seems that only I like.


Paul Weimer said...

I thought I was the only person who felt that way about Willey. I wonder whatever happened to her...

Michael Offutt said...

I don't understand the popularity of YA books right now. They make gajillions of dollars and I think, as you say, that they are horrible. Stephenie Meyer (example) couldn't write a legible sentence in the first Twilight book. A quote? "The green leaves on the trees blew in the wind greenly." Yeah...that's actually from the book. But there are very few Hurukami's in the world (he should have won the Nobel in my opinion but meh). The last Nobel laureate I agreed with was Coetzee.

Andrew Wheeler said...

Michael: I never said, in this post or elsewhere, that YA books are horrible. In fact, I've reviewed (positively) quite a lot of them, and read plenty of YA for pleasure.

I have no informed opinion on the Twilight books, since I haven't read them.

Harry Connolly said...

Thank you.

Shane said...

For those who happen to own a Kindle or a Nook, I noticed that Mr. Connolly's first book is available on those devices for only $.99. Perhaps this will attract some new readers to the series and cause the publisher to reconsider or to attract the interest of a different one.

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