Check out this post about “Seven literary SF/F novels you must read.” Damien G Walter posted this one and frankly turned me right off.
That kind of list is always kind of laugh-worthy because, hello, tastes are kind of not identical across the whole readership? I’ve never seen a list I even halfway agreed with and surely nobody else has, either.
But here’s the bit that made me choke:
What makes these novels distinctly ‘literary’ as opposed to the genre novels they resemble? Put simply, they are better. More ambitious, deeper in meaning, both intellectual and poetic. They might be harder work for readers trained to the easily digested conventions of commercial fiction.
Gosh, thanks for dissing all that commercial fiction, buddy. God forbid we should sully ourselves reading that shallow lowbrow barely-literate trash.
I actually liked THE ROAD, all right? (That’s the only one on the list I’ve read.) But don’t go telling me it’s so much better and deeper and more ambitious and poetic than crass commercial genre stories — or that quality defines literary. The only people who think it does are the ones who read widely in so-called literary fiction and almost not at all in genre fiction.