Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Best and Worst 

Cheryl Morgan's response to my post yesterday reminds me of a principle that I've always kept in mind (as I compile self-published books on the one hand, and compile evidence to identify those 'canonical' books in the field on the other), to wit:

  • There is no work of art, however awful, that someone, somewhere, does not think is a work of genius; and
  • There is no work of art, however classic or canonical, that someone, somewhere, does not think is awful and a complete waste of time.

This is probably Somebody's Law, though I don't know whose, and I don't remember where I first heard it. (Obviously I'm paraphrasing.) As evidence for the former, see Cheryl's comment. For the latter, any collection of Amazon reviews of 'classic' works of literature (or SF), or the occasional compilations of egregious examples of same.
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king under the dome

doctorow makers

banks transition

kress steal sky

atwood year flood

roberts yellow blue tibia

wilson julian comstock

 ness ask and answer

collins catching fire

collins hunger games

sawyer flashforward

baker hotel

disch proteus

tan tales

mazzucchelli asterios

zebrowski empties

morrow shambling

hamilton cpt future

beckett genesis

meller evo rx


kurzweil transcend

sawyer wake

ness knife never letting go

barzak love we share

mcewan cement garden

holland sci-fi art

gladwell outliers

bittman food matters

baggini what's it all about

Still in progress:

ross rest is noise

aldiss billion year spree

pollan omnivore's dilemma

Mark R. Kelly

The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Mark R. Kelly, and do not reflect the editorial position of Locus Magazine.
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