The OF Blog: 2011 in Preview: Planned Changes to the OF Blog

Saturday, January 01, 2011

2011 in Preview: Planned Changes to the OF Blog

I've been slowly working myself toward doing this over the past few months, but I thought if I waited until New Year's Day to post it, it might sound more "official."  Lately, I have been dissatisfied with the majority of my reads, particularly those which fall squarely in the traditional SF/F categories.  I've expressed more my concerns about the "disposable" nature of reviewing just the newest and brightest.  After all, who really remembers the books plugged 2-3 years ago?

I'm approaching middle age and I want something more from the books I read.  I want to be challenged in regards to prose, language, theme, characterization, and perhaps plot at the end.  I also find myself wanting to read histories and other non-fictions again for the first time in 13 years.  I want to read other fiction, fiction that isn't as easily definable as the various contemporary genre classifications.  I want more poetry.  I want a lot of things that I haven't concentrated on since I was in my mid-twenties.

With this change in reading habits coming up, the OF Blog is going to change somewhat.  While I will still cover new releases that are of interest to me, I believe the focus will not be on strict SF/F books.  Nor will it be predominantly from another genre, as I aim to cover a broader range of fictions and non-fictions.  If man cannot live by bread alone, as the Biblical passage goes, then why should readers attempt to live by one genre alone?  I think it's past time that I focus on a variety of things, just to freshen things up around here.

Some have already noticed that I've pruned my Blogroll, dropping most of the blogs I used to follow occasionally.  It was nothing personal, but I had stopped reading the vast majority of them several months ago.  I do occasionally keep up with some of those via other means, but I thought it'd be best to just delete for now and repopulate the Blogroll as I discover new blogs that might be of interest to me, if not to this blog's readership.

Do I expect this to be a wildly popular move?  Nope.  If anything, I'd think my readership would drop by half or more in the coming months.  But sometimes one has to blog in order to challenge him/herself and others be damned.  This is one of those cases.   I do hate ruts, after all...

9 comments:

S.M.D. said...

In all honesty, I don't follow your blog for the strict SF/F titles or the stuff that is not genre in any way. I find that the books I'm most interested in on your blog are those books that fit in the cracks. Books that might be SF, but are highly literary (Cloud Atlas, for example), or fantasy forms that aren't epic fantasy. Those are the books that don't get enough attention in the SF/F community. I love SF/F, but I also want my reading within that genre to be very wide. Fun science fiction adventures are just as good, to me, as deeply psychological stories about cloning (Never Let Me Go) or folklore (The Palm-Wine Drinkard).

So, if you're going to look at books that fit in the cracks, even loosely, then I'll be around.

Gabriele C. said...

I can understand the need to prune one's blogroll. I did some blogroll rearranging recently as well and still wonder if those whom I kicked in the process did even notice because I shifted things around (and added some new blogs as well). I had moved your blog out of the review category to a more philosphical group already because I always felt it was more than a mere review and genre news blog.

Good luck with the changes.

Mimouille said...

One who likes to read may read whatever he likes, there is no genre boundary to good literature...I will follow your blog as long as I find it interesting (to me) whatever the type of book you read. On my blog I comment all types of books, and sometimes movies and music. Why limit yourself :)

E. L. Fay said...

I haven't thought of your blog as strictly SF/Fantasy for awhile now.

I occasionally prune my blogroll too. I feel that a blogroll is a list of blogs you recommend to your readers because you genuinely enjoy them and want to spread the word. It doesn't make much sense to have stuff there you barely read.

Paul Smith said...

Welcome to the world of no readers, Larry. ;)

Amy said...

That makes sense, the diversifying. To be honest I read very little SF/F and found you after you started diversifying more :) I certainly couldn't live only reading one type of book so I don't blame you at all. I hope you enjoy the new broader horizons.

rahkan said...

This sounds good. To be honest, I prefer your posts on non-SFF books. Those are often the ones I've never heard of, and they're often the ones I find most intriguing. Although it is frustrating when you post about an interesting-sounding book that has not been translated into English.

Tibor Moricz said...

Do you want to be challenged? Lets do it, so.

Carl V. said...

I'm excited for you and your changes and I wish you nothing but the very best. Over the years I have made attempts to try to pare my blog down to just reviewing genre work and I never can do it. I have too many other kinds of reading that I enjoy and as I am passionate about those too I can never pin myself down to that kind of focus. I'm sure it costs me readers, but I'm happy and I think that is probably what is important when it comes to maintaining something as potentially time consuming as a blog.

 
Add to Technorati Favorites