Monday, 29 August 2011

Raise your Diet Coke for a toast to the Big D: I'm finally done.

Well the Big D, and the Publishing MA, is officially over. Celebrations have been had. Diet Coke has been drunk. It’s definitely been an experience, as well as an education. The first thing I did when I finished was buy three books. Brandon Sanderson’s Elantris, because I used his views on stigma in my dissertation. Simon Morden’s Equations of life, because he said I had more front than Blackpool (it is ace, by the way, Equations that is, although Blackpool has its charm). Patrick RothfussThe Name of the Wind, because it was the subject of my most beguiling dissertation statistic: that 80 percent of RPG gamers cite it as their favourite book.

Because of this dissertation (aka the Big D) I’ve interviewed some of the most inspiring people in science fiction and fantasy publishing, I’ve done work experience with Voyager and Orbit and I’ve embarrassed myself at the London Book Fair (it was worth it).

This blog was started in order to force myself to do research for the Big D on a regular basis. Any news article, blog post/ tweet/ passing comment that vaguely related to my topic – the alleged stigma about science fiction and fantasy publishing - was collected and even occasionally commented on. It was a giddy ride, and at least one of you even got to journey with me on the Dissertation Express. Well this is the last stop on the whistle stop tour, and it’s time to have a coffee, maybe even a Diet Coke, and perhaps a scone, and Reflect on What I Have Learned. I think that my reader will agree that we’ve both learned so much, been occasionally moved, and even grown a little as a result of my dissertation. Oh, and if you’re wondering but you can’t face going back over the 59 painstakingly written posts on the topic: yes, there is a stigma. At least, that’s what my two markers get to find out after 21,987 words on the subject. They will simply love me.

So, without further ado, I have learned (apart from how to make the perfect toast, peanut butter, honey and banana combination):

That if you accidentally use the top image that comes up if you Google ‘Misfits series 2’, you force 649 people to read your lame-arse review.

That people who play RPGs (in one shop, on one occasion) don’t take too kindly to being called geeks.

If you follow Philip Pullman to the bathroom, he will act with dignity and aplomb and then pretend this never happened.

Orbit kicks digital-marketing ass.

China Miéville has a giant brain.

I idolise Kate Griffin.

I really love Jim Butcher (tag stats: ‘my love for Jim Butcher’: 10 times; ‘the Dresden Files’: 3 times; ‘Chris McGrath’ cover artist: 3 times).

People are strange.

Ben Aaronovitch ticks all my boxes.

Chloe Neill’s Some Girls Bite does not.

I am not great at laminating under pressure (sorry, HarperCollins).

Hobo symbols excite me.

And finally, people do read science fiction and fantasy. They just don't always know it.

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