Criticism, criticism

I enjoyed this article breaking down the recent Sarah Dessen YA dust-up. It’s correct: criticism isn’t hate, and using a large platform to stifle criticism is wrong. I was nodding along until this part:

Conflating constructive criticism with hatred is not only wrong, but extremely dangerous and damaging. Criticism is how we encourage growth and positive change, while shame and hatred serve to stifle both.

I don’t want to put words in the author’s mouth, but this comes very close to something I have heard before: that criticism written for a wider audience is good for an author’s growth. And I want to break that down here, for a moment. I’m going to focus only on arts criticism and not the criticism of an artist’s behavior (which have increasingly become conflated in the wider discussion; I will not be conflating them here myself).

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Mailing List: Interview with Nick Mamatas


Today, my mailing list will feature an interview with Nick Mamatas, the incredibly prolific writer of over 150 published short stories, dozens of articles, and several novels. He writes weird, smart genre fiction with broad influences (Lovecraft to noir to literary and experimental fiction). You’re missing out if you’ve not checked him out yet. His latest novel, Sabbath, is out today (you may also use the site of evil, if you must, to buy it). The publisher’s calling it Seven meets Highlander, so jump on that.

Book cover with a flaming sword with skulls on it, titled SABBATH

I asked Nick a little bit about the book, and how his politics and experience inform his reading and writing. Subscribe here so you’ll have the interview in your inbox within the hour! What an unmitigated treat! Alternatively, if it is already the future and you have missed this shining opportunity, do not fret. All is not lost: the subscriber greeting email will include a link to past letters.