The OF Blog: Do the Evolution, Baby!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Do the Evolution, Baby!

This Pearl Jam video (one of my favorite songs of theirs, I ought to add, amazing how they've evolved over the years, come and think of it) is a rather apt way to bridge into yet two more SF/F bloggers who've blogged recently about their blogs and what they want to do with them. While the word "evolution" isn't used in them, I think it's suitable for what Graeme and Adam have examined the past couple of days on their blogs.

Evolution is a vital thing in so many parts of our lives, not just for bloggers trying to find ways to mix in fun and joy with work and perhaps the need to remain "relevant." I myself have changed quite a bit over the years here, as the blog archives will show. This blog originally was meant to be a way of tying in larger SF/F stuff to what was going on at wotmania's Other Fantasy section. In the past couple of years, my priorities have reversed; I now consider the work I do here to be more relevant and important than what I am currently doing (almost nothing, sad to say) at wotmania.

Also, I am a relatively late newcomer to speculative fiction, or at least to the type of it sold in specially-marked parts of bookstores. I'm rediscovering my love for various types of mimetic or "literary" fiction, not to mention developing a taste for well-done graphic novels and other media of literary discourse. What I happen to like isn't going to appeal to a huge audience, but that's okay with me, as I like to push the boundaries a bit and sometimes that'll see me straying into literary territories where many cannot or will not follow me (non-English literature read in the original languages - especially Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese - or to books that have little to no speculative elements to them).

I'm like Adam in that I don't care to run competitions on this blog, although I am willing to host occasional ones for wotmania's OF section (and perhaps for the successor site set to begin in either August or September of this year). Interviews are fun, but draining. Am toying with the idea of arranging for occasional Q&As, where readers here (and people on various forums) can submit questions, I organize it into a single block of questions and an author can answer as s/he chooses, before posting the results back here. If there was interest for that and if I felt the participation would be there (I'd like a minimum of a dozen questions to make it worthwhile), I could see that being a nice supplement (but never a substitute) for the interviews that I like to do.

All this is dependent on my time and energy. Right now, I'm in crunch time at work and my posts will be shorter and my reviews fewer until late May. Might have a few surprises in store, but for now, I'm shuddering at the thought of getting up in 4 hours; Wednesday's planned day off will be quite invigorating, I hope. So if any of you want to weigh in about the possibility of establishing Q&As (and suggesting authors, although I'd prefer to limit it to ones with whom I'm familiar to some extent), please let me know in the comments section.

And in the meantime, continue doing the evolution.


Dark Wolf said...

I believe that evolution is a very important part in our own way to become better (at work or personal life). I am squeezing my mind to introduce a new feature for my blog this year, but the process is slow for now, affected by work and something that me and my wife plan to do this year. I reviewed a Romanian speculative fiction novel and I think I'll show a few more this year. That is a way to make light on this genre, pretty under-appreciated in my country.

Interviews can be draining, but great fun. I also believe that I became addicted to them :) Although sometimes they take a lot of time too (I have 9 of them waiting the final approach).

The Witchfinder said...

For what it's worth, some of us greatly appreciate the focus and realization of this blog, and finds the lack of commercial and populist regard - without ever crossing into the realms of pure snobbery and misdirected elitism, mind you - refreshing and stimulating. So... yeah, keep up the good work and know that it is appreciated!

That said, my favourite Pearl Jam song is possibly Light Years, from the Binaural album of all things. Obviously, I retain great respect and love for albums such as Black and Ten and whatnot, but that song resonated with me in a unique way.

Larry said...


I like what you're doing there with the pimping of Romanian spec fic, even if I haven't had the time lately to comment on it as I would like.

As for the interviews, if I did more, they'd consume me utterly. Right now, I just began one that I think I'll have to be very careful about, as it begins with a discussion of teaching and I'll have to rein in my urge to talk about that at great length. But it's cool finding out that authors have certain things in common, as it makes the entire process much easier (and sometimes faster, although also longer as well)!


Thanks! I try to be myself as much as possible in this communication medium, but sometimes I worry that my irreverent, sarcastic attitude might anger those who like those sacred cows, whether they be populist, capitalist, or nihilistic cows. That being said, I won't deny that I found things to like about the Harry Potter series and I might just explore those in depth to make a few stances that some might not like ;)

It's been a while since I've really listened to Pearl Jam's music (I finished my university degrees in 1996 and 1998), so I'm not familiar with that song. Will have to correct that soon, though!

Anonymous said...

Damn, that's a bad-ass song and video! Been a while since I've seen it, so thanks!

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