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Is the Novel in Decline?
https://www.booktalk.org/is-the-novel-in-decline-t31340.html
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Author:  Rodrigo [ Fri Aug 07, 2020 4:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is the Novel in Decline?

I personally think this is happening.

Author:  Murmur [ Sun Aug 16, 2020 3:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is the Novel in Decline?

I hope so. I prefer short stories much, much more.

Author:  Brooks127 [ Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is the Novel in Decline?

This is an older post, but I wanted to reply.

I don't think the novel's in decline as much as I feel a lot of new writers begin their writing journey doing what is popular. I know I did. When I started out writing, novels were still a big deal and self-publishing meant going through a vanity press or having a printer make your books. Overtime, I began to experiment with other genres but continue to keep my love for the novel.

As I get older, I go back to novels for their wisdom, and I suspect a lot of people do this.

However, with the rise in social media and enjoyment of sharing content to gain immediate followers, the novel might not get the same social media attention as a science fiction or fantasy book because it fails to appeal to pop culture. This doesn't mean the novel's dead, it just means the priorities of social media are not right for the novel to gain attention.

Author:  Mr. P [ Wed Apr 14, 2021 12:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is the Novel in Decline?

Where can I see your work?

Author:  Mr. P [ Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is the Novel in Decline?

Brooks127 wrote:
...the novel might not get the same social media attention as a science fiction or fantasy book because it fails to appeal to pop culture.


When you refer to a 'novel', what do you mean? I ask because I consider a novel to include sci-fi and fantasy works in novel form,as opposed to shorts.

Author:  Brooks127 [ Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is the Novel in Decline?

Mr. Pessimistic wrote:
When you refer to a 'novel', what do you mean? I ask because I consider a novel to include sci-fi and fantasy works in novel form,as opposed to shorts.


Good question.

In the traditional sense, the novel is viewed as something so challenging to read it requires continuous study to grasp its true meaning. Novels that I feel one might argue fall into this category are:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Karenina
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Day_i ... Denisovich
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_Whom_the_Bell_Tolls

But there are also science or fantasy driven novels:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilith_(novel)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Badge_of_Infamy (Really good story. One of my favorites. I highly recommend it.)
https://archive.org/details/town_took_off_tw_librivox

When I say the novel might not appeal to pop culture, I'm referring mainly to how it's advertised. I notice my friends who write science fiction novels have lots of followers and many likes/shares on social media. In contrast to this, I've seen established writers who produce stuff like What's Eating Gilbert Grape gain little to no traction. Now, in noting that, here is a problem. Even though people are liking and sharing the SF/FF, it doesn't mean they're reading or even buying the books. Hence, the advertising is cool to share but the book might not be. It's sad, and what it does in the writing community is make some believe they can't write a non-SF/FF novel or in some cases it causes SF/FF writers not to call their stories novels for fear the term "novel" implies boring.

It's muddy waters for sure. I have no perfect reply as it's a question authors have asked me. I don't think the novel is dead, but the idea of what it means has changed. Badge of Infamy for instance is considered a juvenile novel, but like Lord of the Flies its a great read for adults. I love that book. It needs to be a movie. If you like Philip K. Dick or Neuromancer, that's a book for you.

Author:  Mr. P [ Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is the Novel in Decline?

Lester Del Rey is an icon in the sf world. Many in my collection are produced under the DelRey imprint. I will check that title out. Honestly, I never read much of Lester. Most of my Sci fi and fantasy are of the older school writers though, like Asimov, Moorcock, of course Tolkien, and other.

Thanks for the explanation. I figured your thoughts were something along those lines.

Have you ever heard of Samuel R. Delaney? He writes very complex stories. I have not read Dahlgren, which is his most well known and talked about, but have read a few Others (Babel 17, Nova) I enjoyed his style.

Babel 17 was inspired by the Sapir-Whorf theory of how the structure of language determines a speakers experience and perception. I do not pretend to know much about this theory aside from a basic understanding. But it is interesting and the book was engaging.

Author:  Brooks127 [ Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is the Novel in Decline?

Mr. Pessimistic wrote:
Where can I see your work?


Thanks for asking. My work's at this link on the Internet Archive.

Author:  Brooks127 [ Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is the Novel in Decline?

Mr. Pessimistic wrote:
Have you ever heard of Samuel R. Delaney?


I've read Babel-17 and am curious if the counterculture language of the 1960s influenced the writing of it. I mean, I wonder if he looked around at peers and saw them using new words to build their arguments and found it slowly changing them. I've thought this about the 2020s. Acronyms are very popular. So popular in fact, I've had to look up what some mean to understand the argument.

The Stanford Prison Experiment comes to mind in the sense that the idea of language changing people reminds me of the idea of an environment changing people.

I'm probably over analyzing it. I have a tendency to do that with creative works. It's a throwback to my days of endless coffee nights in the neon glow of a small cafe frequented by my high school compeers.

Author:  Mr. P [ Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is the Novel in Decline?

Over-analysis is one of those things that benefits from over-doing. At least it makes for expansive thought exercises.

We read the the Lucifer Effect here at Booktalk ages ago. It was a fun and enlightening read. And scary. It amazes me how a slight change in our environment and situations can cause such a devolution in our societal progress.

And oh...I just absolutely hate the rise and ubiquity of the acronym. I worked at a place that had so many, they needed to make a tool to look them up.

YMMV

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