When I went to the Tennessee Williams Lit Festival a few months back I saw this panel on women writers and listened to a woman speak who wrote a post-apocalyptic book on New Orleans birthed from the concept that the city goes underwater in 100 years and only a smattering of islands with the with the wealthiest survive.
She even said, oddly enough, that when she started writing the book she didn’t know she was writing science fiction–she was just writing. Naturally, I found her concept fascinating and bought the book.
I began the book a few weeks back when I finally got a break from reviewing for Kirkus and admittedly, the writing is superb. It’s rich, it’s self assured, it’s detailed and committed and entrenched in a world that unfolds page by page.
The bummer, though? I just don’t like sci-fi.
In fact, even if this writing is really fantastic I just really, really dislike reading it. Sci-fi forces the reader to either have a wild imagination that can suspend disbelief and questions on the environment the author has created and just run with it. A lot of readers, SO MANY READERS (hello, HP fans?) can do this with no problem. I, however, am not one of them. I can’t even give you, dear reader, a meaningful synopsis of what I have read so far because when I reflect on what I’ve read so far its lost in weird eyeballs and a hangover-type fog of staring at the same page for an hour trying to coax myself to finish the FUCKING page.
It’s really hard to garner the patience to try to piece together the who and the what and the why of this futuristic New Orleans. I don’t even ideologically have an issue with the concept–I think it’s excellent, and I bought the book after hearing the writer talk about it. It’s just so hard for me to get myself to read, it’s like slogging through it or reading it to finish it like the book is a chore.
Sigh. I just feel like I’m at an odd standstill because I hate not finishing books, ESPECIALLY new ones that I bought full dollar on my own accord. But goddamn, if it isn’t a pain to just be a picky reader sometimes with a mind that doesn’t bend towards the fantastical.
I have a newfound respect for dedicated genre writers because that audience feels rather limited…. And I found out because I am exempt.