Monday, September 30, 2013

Take a chance

Michael Moorcock (Elric) wrote an introduction to one of the 90's editions of Leiber books I just got in so I can preserve my 70's editions with the gorgeous Jeffrey Jones covers, which are falling apart now, in which he reminisced about the days when he and Leiber lived near each other. In those days, if you were trying to get work published, it was normal to live in the same city as the publisher - generally you'd bring your work in personally. That's why all the heroic fantasy painters knew each other, and all the weird fantasy writers of the 30's, etc. They'd meet in the publishers office and they'd hang out together sometimes.

That's beside the point really. My point is that in the introduction, he make it abundantly clear that none of today's publishers would ever have accepted most of Leiber's work. Today they go by the demographics - they publish what's going to being in the most readers statistically. The woman who was running whichever magazine it was (I should probably learn this stuff) just liked Fritz's work, so she took a chance and kept publishing it, even though it was fantasy with nary an elf or goblin in sight.

This further reinforces what I was saying 2 posts ago - that artists/writers etc can only flourish if there's someone publishing what they do. And the really excellent ones need publishers who are willing to take a chance when they do things not according to the demographics. This is how excellent work gets made in the first place - if no publishers will take the chance, then only the same tired old formulaic stuff and endless ripoffs of it ever see print.

No comments:

Post a Comment