I’ll note that I am once again having the standard worries about whether this science fiction stuff is ‘serious’ enough. They rise up to throttle me periodically.
Serious enough for what, I couldn’t tell you. To justify my continued literary existence to my colleagues in English departments, to my grad school classmates from Utah? Something like that.
No need to chime in here saying not to worry about them, that plenty of people like my stuff, regardless of how serious / literary it is. I know that. That’s not really the issue.
It’s more about…
– am I doing the best work I’m capable of?
– are the projects I’m choosing to spend time and energy on the right projects?
– am I just avoiding writing a mainstream ‘literary’ novel because I’m afraid it’ll crash and burn like the last time I tried one twelve years ago? [shakes fist impotently at HarperCollins]
– can I really write a SF novel that will do what I want it to do in terms of prose and literary quality (and yes, I do think that’s a thing, and a thing I value)?
– am I right in thinking that if I want to have big reach with my fictional ideas, that it’s not a terrible idea to try to do that through science fiction, which I happen to also love quite intensely and unreasonably?
– is it all right that I feel like I’m reaching for something that could be great, but could also just end up mucky and mediocre and disappointing?
I miss having a grad school advisor, is what I miss. I guess we’re supposed to graduate past needing one, but I dunno.