I’m not actually wrestling dinosaurs. It just feels that way.
I’m doing a Masters Degree in creative writing, you see. In particular, I’ve been looking into Steampunk. Now, one of the things I wanted to do was incorporate a more-or-less timeline of events and publications in the history of the steampunk genre. The thing is that one of the best and most comprehensive resources for that kind of thing is, yes, Wikipedia.
Now, here’s the thing. I’ve cited everybody under the sun on this. I have pointed out that everybody who has written much of anything on the various science fiction genres and subgenres has turned to the fan community for guidance, assistance and expertise. The depth and breadth of knowledge possessed and wielded by the fan community is, in fact, legendary, and even the antiquated, mothball-stinking halls of acadaemia appear to be prepared to acknowledge that.
So far, so good. So the next question I posed to my supervisorly types is: exactly what kind of person do you think it takes to build, maintain and correct a massive wikipedia resource on steampunk?
If you answered “highly active and motivated members of the fan community”, you may head to the top of the class. But oh, dear… drawing on wikipedia in an academic paper? Oh dear. Oh dear!
Wrestling dinosaurs, folks. It’s not like I’m depending on wikipedia for my primary, major sources. I’ve done so much bloody reading on and around the topics of ‘genre’ and ‘steampunk’ that yes, I think I probably know enough to wear my “Clever Person” hat come the graduation ceremony. But the ongoing relationship between me, acadaemia, and literary theory remains… slightly strained. It’s that awful pragmatic streak of mine, don’t you know: the desire to see if literary theory actually does something, instead of simply nodding, and then adding a few sage comments to an already overcrowded and irrelevant conversation.
I know. I’m a terrible person. But to make up for it, I’m happy to announce there’s a new Night Beast story available on Amazon/Kindle. It’s here: Sanction.
In a nutshell: about six months after the events of Path of Night, Mick Devlin and Jen Morris have to figure out their new working relationship. Assigned to eliminate one of the Beasts, Jen asks for Mick’s help — and things don’t go entirely as planned.
And a big shout out to one of my very good buddies who gets his ass tuckerised* and then duly blown away. The rest of you: don’t worry. It’s a violent series of books. I’ll find a way to kill most of you sooner or later!
*uh. That probably doesn’t mean what you think it does. You should look it up.