Is There Nepotism in Science Fiction

Once again, I have Larry to thank for finding this interesting article by Carol Pinchefsky.

Here's an excerpt:

Editors mingle with each other, as well as professional and fledgling writers, publishers, agents at science fiction conventions and other events. Many of them have longstanding personal as well as business relationships, including traveling together, sharing hotel rooms, and dating, marrying, and sometimes divorcing one another.

Add fans into the mix, some of whom have been attending conventions and meeting their favorite writers and editors for decades, and well, the word "incestuous" springs to mind.

Because of this ultra-socialization in the genre, editors tend to buy stories and novels from people that they often already know, at least tangentially.

Does knowing an editor personally -- and buying him a round at the bar -- increase a writer's chances of getting published? Are editors swayed by the charms of friendship and the chance to write off every lunch as a business expense? Is there favoritism in science fiction?

Read the whole article here.

4 commentaires:

Neth said...

copying my response on a forum:

To me this doesn't seem any different from any other industry out there. Whoever wrote the article is either trying to make an issue out of a non-issue or scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas to write about (a third possibility is they are pissed bacause their bad writing keeps getting rejected, so it must be some conspiracy where editors only publish their friends).

Anonymous said...

You took the words right out of my mouth. It's called life, and the author should get used to it.

Joe said...

So, the bottom line analysis from the article is "yes, but no.", saying pretty much that that there is a general sense of nepotism, but because this is a quality driven field the only net benefit of everybody knowing each other is that it may get a story a deeper or second look from a editor higher up the food chain, but not necessarily purchased because of said nepotism.

And ya know, it may also get authors to submit to different markets because they now know the editor isn't some flake.

Mark Newton said...

As one of these Evil Editors, I certainly hope it isn't generalising. In the modern commercial publishing world, there's a whole team of editors and sales folk that all have a say on a project. (For mass market novels, at least.) That's a lot of sleeping with / buying drinks that an author has to do, in my opinion.

I think it can seem difficult to enter this circle from the outside. But many serious writers work hard and see conventions as something to go to learn things, to develop, to gain knowledge of what the industry is about. They may even meet agents or other contacts they didn't know about. Conversations with editors may help them in the future, because they come out of that conversation a little wiser, or drunk.

Authors become friends with publishing folk because they share a common passion. I don't think this is nepotism.