Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I Hope No One I Actually Know is Reading
The whole blogging process is at once interesting, fun, liberating, uninhibiting, self conscious, embarrassing, a waste of precious time, a good distraction, informative, and loads of other descriptors that I could come up with. But what does all this say about what I really think of SF, or fear that others think?

As I gain more popularity and visibility, I’ve struggled with some internal thoughts – what happens if someone I actually know is reading (not of my ‘internet friends’ or frints as I think of them), or shudder-the-thought of my wife or other family member visiting. Is this another example of hiding the cover of the book I’m reading, or leaving the jacket behind? Am I that embarrassed that I’m a blogger, and not just a blogger, but a one who blogs about SF books?

What about you guys out there in the blogosphere? I doubt many of you who are ‘doing your job’ struggle much with this, but how about those like me who do this as more of a hobby? Do your friends and family know of your blogging. Are frints distinguished from real-life friends? Am I just dating myself as someone who missed the cyber-train by a few years?

I know that I crave the anonymity of it all – I don’t want real world people to know this side of my personality. So, I’ll keep going as I do, in the dark corners of home and office, anonymously blogging away about my precious genre books.


Anonymous said...


There are the stagey and carefully boiled commentaries of established big-name literati. There are the academes who publish so as not to perish but who risk being more competent than inspiring. And then there are the rest, who do what they do because they have a passion for it, even if their skill sets don't necessarily match the quality of their visions.

All three ways of thinking are useful and necessary; they comprise, to me anyway, a kind of interpretive trinity: Recognition, Articulation and Passion...and not necessarily in that order.

If it's passion that drives you, then let it be what it is, and leave it to the rest of the world to learn how to assemble all three into one unified whole. That's the gift any free-thinking human being can take away from the 'sphere, all thanks to your (and everyone else's) most sincere efforts.

Keep up the good work!

Neth said...


Thanks for the well-thought and sincere reply. I was just feeling a bit introspective when I wrote this as I had explain to my wife recently why a book publisher would consider sending me 'free' books.

I like the idea of your interpretive trinity, it has a nice sense of balance and nicely summarizes the world of academics, writers, and fanboys/girs well.

I can't say that I'd call it passion that drives me, but whatever it is, it's mine and I do it because it provides a positive outlet.

You're welcome and thanks to you as well.

-Ken (neth)

PS - nice website, I'll probably link it when I get a chance.

Unknown said...

My friends and family know that I blog. Most of them just don't care. :)

I don't see that there's anything shameful about writing about speculative fiction. Would you feel ashamed of a blog about detective stories or historical books?

I agree with Tamara: passion is good. I've know too many people that don't care about anything and that's scary and sad.

Race said...

Well, I dont think i'd break the ice with a girl I'd just met by telling her to check out my speculative fiction blog, but aside from that, I am not embarrased about it.

In dealing with friends and family, They mostly know about it. My family doesnt share my interests in the genre, but many of my friends do, at least those I have not lost contact with over the years. In many instances it is out mutual interest in gaming or books, that has kept us in contact.

These days. I dont even differentiate much between real life friends and internet friends, as often there is such a mix. I meet people online, but then go to a con and meet them in person. So are they a real life friend now? And often times because of distance, the internet is my sole form of communication with real life friends, who no longer live nearby.

Neth said...

Thanks for the responses.

Maybe I am more of a minority in my desire for anonymity. I've never been to a con or the likes and met frints in person. I'd like to, but there's not much going on in Arizona in the near future, and I don't have the time or money for dedicated travel to one.

I wouldn't say that ashamed or anything, just enough of an introvert to produce the feeling I described in the post.

Jose said...

I'm not bothered about who knows that I'm blogging. I tell most of my mates about it and have forwarded on my blog's url. Although I'm well aware that the vast majority of my friends aren't into science fiction and hence wouldn't be much interested in my blog.

Anonymous said...

As one of the friends (not frints) I totally understand your desire for privacy -- but I have to say that Kenneth might be way cooler than either Ken or Neth -- just a thought.

Great blog, totally surprised, and happy that you told me about it. To think I'd never even heard of Erickson or Bakker -- and I called myself a fantasy fan (as the amazon website comes up in another window).

Neth said...

glad you liked it Paul. As you can imagine, there was a bit of exageration in this post, but it does express a real feeling of being something of a 'closet blogger'. Well, I'm out of the closet for you and Robin anyway.

Erikson and Bakker are both great writers in the epic fantasy area, with Martin, they are the top three IMO. You might want to try China Mieville as well - another favorite.


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