What Speculative Fiction has Taught Me

The other day I wrote this post about why I love the genre so much. It got me to thinking. I’ve been a little less engaged than I usually am in other blogs and I started wondering why. It’s not because the blogs are terrible, or I’m losing interest in the genre. It’s because cancer changed something fundamental in me. I don’t want to be as negative anymore. Life is short, and I’d like to spend my time alive focusing on positive things. It is so easy to focus on the negative issues of the genre, and I just don’t want to fill my days with that. I had enough negativity during my 2.5 years fighting cancer, I really don’t want to infuse something I love, like SFF, with that negativity as well. I know that sounds very Pollyanna of me, and maybe it is, but things change once you have to face your own mortality.

The thing is, it’s easier to focus on the negative rather than the positive. That’s just human nature. I wrote my post the other day about why I love the genre, because it was a day that my RSS feed was full of posts complaining about this genre issue, or that genre issue. It got to me. I wanted to discuss why the genre is a good thing despite all the problems people might focus on. We are all authors or bloggers because we feel passionate enough about the genre to spend hours and hours and hours reading it, writing about it, talking about it, thinking about it…. I want to focus on that passion. The truth is, it’s impossible to love something that doesn’t give back. Love is all about give and take, and I want to focus on what, exactly SFF has given those who love it so intensely.

My post had a massive amount of positive feedback. It honestly surprised me. The amount of feedback made me realize that maybe I’m not the only person sick of negativity. Maybe others are, too. Maybe it’s time to celebrate all the wonderful things about the genre and forget, for a time, that there are negative, gripe-worthy aspects. Maybe it’s time to really focus on what, exactly, SFF has given back to us. So I asked for volunteers who were willing to write up a guest post for me answering one question, “What has Speculative Fiction taught you?”

This is going to be a fairly unstructured event. I have no timeline, no word or page limit, nothing like that. I’ll run it as long as I get posts for it and once they dry up I’ll stop. I want it to be fun. Sometimes I feel like we write too many essays and don’t spend enough time being informal. I’ve asked SFF bloggers and authors to participate, and I’ve basically just sent off an email to those who were interested. They’ll either write a post or they won’t. I’ll be as surprised as all of you by how many responses I get, but I sincerely hope they don’t stop coming in. Therefore, count this post as not only an introduction to an event, but also an open call for others willing to submit a post to me answering that one question I listed above. If you do want to participate, please send an email to sarah (at) bookwormblues (dot) net with the subject as GUEST POST. I’ll send you an email back with the details of what I’m looking for in your submission.

I have received my first guest post, which will go live on Monday. Depending on how long it takes for me to get more, you might see another post next week or you might not. Keep your eyes peeled. It’s time for us to focus on what, exactly, SFF has given us.

I hope you enjoy this. And don’t forget, if you want to participate, I’ll take as many posts as there are people who want to offer their time to write something up.

2 Responses

  • Would love to participate, and email forthcoming. I totally agree with your post, understanding that life (and the Afterlife, I believe) are about a struggle against the dark, and about adventure and friendship and discovery! These are the things SFF is all about as well! I also believe we are eternal beings, but we metamorph, much like butterflies and moths. So, like the Revels say, when you are presented with sadness and pain at the Turning of the Year, Take Joy!! Take Light!! Anyway, I’m rambling. Email forthcoming.

  • I think there is a lot of value in surrounding your self with positive things and work to resolve or move past the negative. Time is short, make it awesome.

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