Bifurcations • 11 July 2008 • The SnowBlog


Though it happened last year, I've only just noticed that SF author, Neal Stephenson, came to London and gave a talk about genre publishing. He spoke for 40 mins and the video is here. He's a slightly monotonous speaker which means it takes a while to warm to him, but after a bit his flatness starts to seem like a comic device and actually makes his little witticisms funnier. Sadly, the presentation flags a bit in the final ten minutes, but before that there are lots of good, chunky insights and (to the best of my knowledge) some completely original dissections of what's been going on with the genres of storytelling in the last half-century. To whet your appetite: one of his early theories is that previous genres have to some extent disappeared outside the world of books because the romantic genre has suffused the whole world of movie-making while the crime/mystery genre has been incorporated into most television.


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