Summer School’s Done

I’m headed to the woods for some post class reflection in the Blue Ridge, but a few words first about the Online Fiction experiment.  While my experience teaching sf and fantasy in recent years to a largely “mundane” audience has been that the genres are much more accessible to a general readership than is generally supposed, the most lauded fiction online by the sf community was the least successful with my students.  For good reason too.  “The Things” is symptomatic.  It depends for its success on more than a passing knowledge of a 1982 sf film, like everybody the story cares to reach has that, right?  I like the film, but it’s not exactly the gospels or the Odyssey.  “Spar” once you wade through all those fucks doesn’t do much past the shock value.  Geeks can say fuck too.  I wanted the debriefing.  Most successful with the class was probably “Light on the Water” for the impressive feat of making us care about a love story between buildings.  I liked “Standard Loneliness Package” but found it too similar to the IMO superior “Daughter of the Monkey God,” by M. K. Hobson, which can be found in Ellen Datlow’s stunning e-collection Digital Domains.  It’s full of gems.  Meanwhile I’m reading Bleak House to cleanse the palate.