When I wrote to you the other day by email with a brief note asking if Publishers Weekly might want to link to the recent news on NPR and at the Christian Science Monitor in the U.S., and in The Guardian and the Financial Times in London, about a new literary genre called “cli-fi”, you replied with a terse note sent from your iPhone that read: “not interested.”
Jim, you seem like a very likable fellow. You’re editorial director of PW, the most prestigious print magazine in the book trade industry. I’ve been a PW reader since I was in college. I still read it online from my office in Taiwan. So I suppose I expected a more positive response from PW than “not interested.”
The book indsutry websites in London ran the cli-fi links, and those heads-up led to both The Guardian and Financial Times doing stories on the emerging new genre. Yet PW says, “not interested.”
Not interested, Jim, in the future of the planet? Not interested in the future of literature? Not interested in the future of the book industry?
Jim, as editorial director of PW, you are one of the major “gatekeepers” of the book industry worldwide, not just America. And yet, when a reader tells you about a major new meme in literary circles that’s also been reported in major news outlets in both the U.S. and the UK, you say you’re “not interested.” There seems to be a disconnect here, Jim.
The same week you said you were “not interested” in the cli-fi news items, you did run a short item about another Guardian news piece about God and science fiction. So you’re not adverse to running things from The Guardian, and you have no beef with sci-fi. That’s good to know.
Jim, I hope your “not interested” is not an indication of the feelings of the rest of your colleagues and reporters at PW, not to mention your readership of editors, publishers, agents, writers and book readers. I can only assume that your “not interested” was an initial reaction on an off day, and that in a later second opinion you will be more open-minded and welcoming.
Jim, we’re talking literature. And movies are made from literature. And your two-word response is “not interested”? As the publishing world moves more and more to e-books and digital publications, is PW just a dinosaur sitting on the future corpses of paper books? Is that what provoked your “not interested”?
Sir, what planet are you living on? Second opinion, please.
Or is there another doctor in the house?
Dan Bloom is a freelance writer in Taiwan