The OF Blog: Intimidating blogs/bloggers

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Intimidating blogs/bloggers

Was just now browsing a few of the blogs in my blogroll and I saw a post by Aidan Moher on his 5 Favorite Blogs.  While I didn't make the cut, I had an interesting thought when reading through his list. 

Many "favorite" lists (books, music, blogs, people, etc.) tend to reflect peoples' comfort zones, those often warm and fuzzy groupings that either reflect or relate to the list generator's areas of presence.  For years, I've tried to resist giving into the warm and fuzziness.  Instead, I sometimes find myself wanting to be challenged, to encounter things that are a bit "intimidating," even if the things/people behind these are far from threatening.  So with that in mind, I applied that to the issue of blogs.

It is hard to think of blogs or bloggers whose takes on things challenge me to reconsider.  Most people are not going to write anything with the goal of provoking another to rethink a position; they are just stating their own opinion and that's pretty much it.  Before I came to know them better, I remember finding these authors/editors' blogs to be challenging, if not exactly intimidating, when I began blogging back in 2004:  Matthew Cheney, Hal Duncan, Jeffrey Ford, and Jeff VanderMeer.  While I doubt I'll ever match the styles and/or attitudes each brings to their blog writing (nor would I want to, egoist that I am ;)), I have found entries of theirs over the past 5-7 years to challenge my thoughts on several issues and in a few cases, to make me reconsider my positions.

Are there any blogs/bloggers that do anything similar for you?  They don't have to be your "favorites," but are there any out there that challenge you, perhaps make you think that you can't compete with what they are doing or that what they are writing is "above" you?

18 comments:

Fabio Fernandes said...

Oh, Jeff and YOU, mister. That´s for sure. ;-)

Larry said...

Bah, I'm mostly harmless...mostly :P

Mihai (Dark Wolf) said...

Definitely OF Blog of the Fallen. And with the amount of books its owner reads I can be only jealous ;)
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Larry! :)

Jonathan M said...

That's a good question...

In film blogging and general cultural stuff I could list several people whose knowledge and style intimidate me.

In genre circles? Not so much. There are definitely individual genre critics whom I respect and who do stuff I could never do, but some of them do not blog. In fact, I wonder whether intimidation is not a function of lack of familiarity.

S.M.D. said...

I'm particularly fond of this blog, and I just started reading Adam Robert's various blogging locales (The Valve is particularly awesome). Lots of challenging thoughts and I like the international focus here.

Eddie said...

Wrongquestions. I don't always agree (does Abigail like ANYTHING lol?), but its always interesting to read.

Aidan Moher said...

Clearly, given that I was the inspiration for this post, you forgot to add me to your list, Larry.

;)

Larry said...

Feliz Navidad y prospero año con felicidad, Mihai!

Jonathan,

I agree, especially with that part about lack of familiarity being the key factor in one feeling "intimidated." I'm always bemused, when I'm not puzzled, when some comment about what I do here as if it's so far above them/others. I view it in the opposite light and wonder at times if I'm saying anything of import these days :P

Shaun,

He certainly does have some interesting things to say, even when I don't always agree with them. As for the international focus here, it'll increase some in the next year or so, I believe.

Eddie,

Ha! Abigail certainly is a critic I respect, even if I can't quite bring myself to discuss what annoyed me about a work like she does :P

Aidan,

Perhaps after you pick apart some more Quebecois blog entries ;)

Aidan Moher said...

I need to be able to read Quebecois blog posts before I can pick them apart!

'God, what is this unreadable tripe?! It's like they don't even speak English.'

Larry said...

Oh, I was thinking of one who writes in English and...well, you know. Just for fun :P

Aidan Moher said...

Wait, his blog is written in English? I tried to read his review of [b]The Magicians[/b] and figured Babelfish lost something in the translation.

;)

Larry said...

Burn! :P

Harry Markov said...

You definitely scared the shit out of me in the beginning. To a point you still do.

When I saw you comment on my blog that was like a blow with Thor's Hammer [in the good way, although it's puzzling to say how there can be a good way]

Yeah, talk about intimidation.

Larry said...

Bah, like I said above, I'm mostly harmless! :P

Then again, I do remember way, way back in 2004 receiving comments from a Hugo-winning fan writer and a World Fantasy Award-winning author here in regards to two posts I made. That was certainly surprising, especially since that was before Blogger was more than a handful of years old and there were very, very few genre-oriented bloggers that were visible. Oh, and last year having Neil Gaiman linking to this blog was interesting as well. But intimidating? Bah! It was exciting....now arguing points of matter with some authors/editors at first was kinda that way, but I quickly got over it. Helps when one has had professors make you lead seminar discussions in front of groups where everyone is years older than you are...

Harry Markov said...

Yes, you are harmless. Hence why I am posting comments and joking all around or otherwise I would be in the shadows and when commenting use the formal language. ;P

But I certainly hope to get such comments and links. So far I can only get famous people link to me, when I interview them.

Larry said...

Ahem, I said mostly harmless. I've been known to kick an ass or two in my day :P

As for the famous bit, all one has to do is write well, have something interesting to say, and participate on certain blogs, I guess. Although after having had reviews and interviews of mine translated into Spanish and Portuguese, I am still waiting to crack that very tough Bulgarian market ;)

Harry Markov said...

I guess you are right. It's all about where you go and what you say and most important say something, because to be quite honest with my Google Reader subscriptions I am left with too many things to read and not enough places to comment upon. Need to change that as a resolution.

PS: Admirable goal, but I wouldn't hold my breath, because you can't enter something that as elusive as Yeti sightings.

Larry said...

Whereas I still don't use RSS readers and barely make time to get drowned in all the posts, huh? :P

I do think I'm drawing closer to that Yeti-like market, though. There are Serbs who are aware of me and what I read. Of course, one of those is my semi-stalker who gets book payments to keep her at bay, but that's beside the point, right? :P

 
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