One of the weird things about moving is that you don’t know many people in your new location. Ah, but who am I kidding? As an introvert I knew few people in my last two decade-long locations. So when I blog my readers tend not to be local. Those I know locally tend not to read what I write. This is the way of things. Nevertheless, I make bold to mention the session I shared with Robert Repino and Andrew Uzendoski at the fourth annual Easton Book Festival yesterday. The session was recorded and may be found here. The topic is speculative writing. While speculative writing may encompass nonfiction, it is generally considered to be fiction about things most people consider not to be real, such as science fiction, horror, and fantasy.
The slippery word there is “real.” There’s a great deal of philosophy to that word. How we determine reality is hardly a settled matter. It involves more than the physical, as much as we might want to deny it. In the case of future-oriented fiction “it hasn’t happened yet.” Even if it comes true, such as George Orwell’s 1984. In the case of the past, such as Game of Thrones, it never really happened. For horror, itself not easily defined, it may range from gothic ghost tales to bloody accounts of carnage, generally set in the present. Speculative often involves the supernatural. The supernatural, however, may be real. Who’s the final judge of that?
If I had a local readership I would add a plug for the Easton Book Festival. It started strong in 2019 but was nearly choked by the pandemic. I’ve had the honor of being involved in some way for all four years although I’m a minor author with perhaps the poorest sales figures of any who participate. The Lehigh Valley is a major population center of Pennsylvania, but there’s wonderful greenery and woods between Easton, Bethlehem, and Allentown. I live here but work in New York City and there’s no question who gets the lion’s share of time. Publishing is a mystery to many. How does it work, and how do you find a publisher? And once you get published how do you get your books noticed? And perhaps more relevant to more people, how do you get to know your neighbors? Apart from the chance encounter across the lawn, we’re hermetically sealed in our houses, living lives on the web. Unless you happen to venture to your local book festival where you’ll find like-minded individuals. It goes on through the weekend, so if you’re nearby check it out.