Nick Mamatas’ is spot on when he categorises the whole “Why Won’t Literary Fiction love us” debate as an infantile disorder. He specifically refers to this “letter” from Daniel Abraham, which featured on SF Signal and has a vague stalkerish vibe.*
But if you ever wondered about my opinion on this issue, and I’m sure you haven’t, it’s that I don’t see why anyone writing genre should care. Yes, I know that Literary Awards like the Booker Prize have snubbed genre fiction in the past. And yes, I know that when it suits the academics they will ignore the genre elements of a great novel just so it can be included in the cannon.** But so what? Why do we – the fans and the genre writers – need the validation? Why do we crave it?
Don’t get me wrong, it rankles when some literary critic takes a genre novel and pretends it’s not that at all. But if anyone actually thinks that literary critics and academics are actually going to change their mind about genre fiction, then they’re playing with themselves.
* It’s been noted that the letter might be a piss-take. If it is, it’s not a particularly good one.
** And I’m not even going to mention Margaret Atwood. If she doesn’t want to see herself as a genre writer than that’s her bloody perogative. It’s also our perogative to define her as such if we care too.