Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The horror! The horror!

People's perceptions of different types of fiction is funny.

A couple of years ago I was flying home from WHC with a bunch of fellow writers. We were all winding down after the convention, just relaxing on the plane, all reading different books.

Despite the book in my hand the little old lady sitting next to me started chatting away. She discovered that my friends and I were writers and she wittered on about how her granddaughter wanted to become a writer and could we offer any advice? As my friends were stitting in the opposite aisle they managed to escape her interrogation (the only time they showed any interest was when she asked if she might have read any of our work at which point there was a flurry of business cards in her direction). But as I was sitting next to her I had no escape.

As she carried on asking my help on how to launch a glittering literary career (yeah, 'cos I'm the person to ask about that) she noticed a twentysomething man sitting a couple of seats ahead of us. He wore a black shirt emblazoned with an image of the Devil surrounded by the flames of Hell. The woman's eyes narrowed. "Ooo, he looks like one of those creepy people who likes horror. Those people are just weird."

I thought about telling her which convention I had just attended but I didn't want to encourage further conversation. I just wanted to get back to my novel.

As I tried to find my place in the novel I pondered how some people are so intolerant of something so simple as people reading books that they themselves don't enjoy.

Just then one of my friends noticed that I was the only one out of our little group who wasn't reading a horror novel. He gestured towards my book. "Is that sword & sorcery?"

I nodded.

Chuckling, he shook his head. "You sad bastard."


Chris said...

"Sword & Sorcery"? At your age? I bet you've got a secret stash of Gor books, haven't you...

Stuart Young said...

Chris, sorry, I don't have any Gor books. you'll have to look elsewhere to complete your collection ...

Chris said...