Dear Readers,

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Everything I wanted To Know About "Twilight"

I learned from this web-comic. Just click through. You'll be glad you did.
On a related note, is there any other phenomenon like the huge number of people (myself included) who have devoured every page of the Twilight saga but scorn its author and everything she stands for?


  1. I brought this up with me husband (who reads massive amounts of sci-fi) and he nodded and said, "All of sci-fi is like that. You hate it but you can't stop reading. And if you don't hate the writing while you're reading, it's a total shock." Wow. How's that for a genre made of phenomenons. And of course, Meyers is always bringing up her great love for the sci-fi so I guess it just rubbed off... ... ...

  2. THAT. Was awesome.

    (And I strongly disagree that all sci-fi is like that. I love sci-fi, and a great deal of it is pretty incredible writing. Consider that some of the greatest literature of the 20th century--1984, Brave New Word, and Slaughterhouse 5, to name a few--are sci-fi. Bad writing is just bad writing--you don't get special slack because of your genre. And Twicrack is barely fantasy/sci-fi. It's much closer to really bad romance.)

  3. Anonymous11:10 PM

    Catherine's husband here, stepping in to defend that over-dinner comment... ;-)

    I would definitely not say that *all* science fiction is like that, but anyone who's read a lot of it (or anyone who's perused the scifi section of a bookstore) has to admit that the wheat/chaff ratio is daunting.

    But as with any genre, fans will have a higher tolerance for bad writing if it delivers on familiar, enjoyable conventions. Science Fiction's roots in pulp don't help matters, either. The wizened elders of the genre tend to be folks who pounded out interesting but stylistically painful adventures. (Foundation, anyone?) Today, for every work of genius (Maria Doria Russel's The Sparrow, for example) there are dozens of Warhammer 40K books, pulpy Neuromancer retreads, and flabby space operas.

    I dare anyone who's a science fiction fan to say they haven't plodded through sub-par writing because of an interesting genre hook! ;-) That's where the Twilight connection comes in, IMO. Like much science fiction, it offers a hook and it keeps pulling, with VampWolfGirlDrama at every turn. As a long-time scifi reader, "I wouldn't be reading this if it weren't strangely compelled to see how this turns out" is a very familiar feeling.

    Finding the stuff that isn't like that -- the stuff that stands on its own as interesting and thought-provoking literature -- is one of the treats.

    Also, I want the person who did those cartoons to summarize every Dan Simmons book ever.

  4. I think one of the reasons twilight is such crack is because it combines elements of fantasy and romance (though I think it leans towards romance) in a way that surprises and titillates people that aren't familiar with one/both of the genres.

    But I totally understand the Eatons' point.

    I think we can all agree that within genre there are gems--Harry Potters and 1984--and then there are A LOT of books that are all plot and little substance. And by the same token I've come across plenty of "literary" books that are all style and flourish with no soul, too (ahem, Claire Messud)!

    So it's the rare books that are a combination of those elements that really get to us.

  5. hahah! That's the last time I quote Jeff. ;D