CAROLE JOHNSTONE

British Fantasy Award Winner 2014; 3x British Fantasy Award Nominee

Friday, 29 January 2016

Where Are We Going?

A quick mention (plus link) to a wonderfully interesting and refreshingly candid article in Strange Horizons this week: Where Are We Going? Some Reflections on British Horror, Present and Future, written by the always brilliant Nina Allan.

There is so much here to consider and discuss, not least that widening chasm between what is published and what could be published.  On one side, the idea that underrepresentation of female and minority writers in horror fiction is mere statistics: there are more men writing/submitting horror fiction, ergo - etc, etc, “and don’t get me started on bloody positive discrimination!” Versus the idea that it is everyone’s responsibility to keep on moving forwards; that to be inclusive is not just to say so, but to be so - to seek out new and diverse and original and challenging writers who have perhaps been alienated by a culture that can seem closed, or certainly stuck in its own past; and one that can often be so defensive, few people within it are able to recognise, never mind accept its failings.

It's a topic that has increasingly become more pertinent and more visible, and one which I've wanted to blog properly about for a while. I'm not sure what more I could add - Nina absolutely hits the nail on the head, without ever being argumentative or divisive - but it is an issue that deserves to be talked about and discussed again and again and again. It isn't new, of course, but it does seem to be coming out of hiding. My hope is that that chasm isn't widening at all, and that people are only noticing it now because it suddenly has a bloody great spotlight shining on it.

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