Some while ago, I pondered the issue of genre acceptance, specifically the Australian attitude toward genre fiction. It was sparked by a comment of Neil Gaiman's about Australia being "a bit behind the US and the UK in its understanding and acceptance of fantasy". Gaiman's comment was itself sparked by a review of American Gods in Melbourne's The Age by Ashley Crawford.
Since then, I've actually been in contact with Ashley. I had promised, since comments on the original post were turned off, that I would publish any response Ashley sent me in a new post. Today, in cleaning out my inbox and through the quick exchange of emails with Ashley that resulted, I discovered that this response was in fact duly sent… and duly eaten by my spam filter, by the looks of it. Ouch.
So, after all that, I don't have anything specifically from Ashley to post for you all. And because I don't have permission to quote our correspondence, I won't do that, either. But I will say this: it would seem I misinterpreted the opening stanzas of Ashley's review, reading into it the disdain for genre writing Ashley was actually railing against.
Which clears that up. Or sorta kinda. Because I was never specifically meaning to scapegoat Ashley (although going back to read the post now, it could very easily be interpreted that way; note to self: thinking before
speaking blogging is a good thing); in actual fact what I was curious about was whether Gaiman had a point: are Australians bigger genre snobs than other continents?
I still don't know the answer to that part. But, maybe in the big scheme of things, that doesn't matter so much.