I think a lot about what makes “good” literature, and if there is an opposite of being a snob, I think that’s where I am these days.
I’ve written before about what makes a story enjoyable for me, but I’m always interested in our culture’s attempt to label some art good and some bad. I think it would be useful if we could move beyond those simple descriptions.
Most recently, I’ve been taking a break from big, dense books, and reading old BattleTech novels I just uncovered when cleaning out my basement. When I was younger, I lived for these books, and at times I would read more than one a day.
For those who don’t know BattleTech, it is a popular sci-fi universe in which large war machines kick the crap out of each other. As a kid, I loved them, excited to read about thirty foot towers of destruction. Turns out, as an adult, I still do.
The books certainly won’t win any prestigious literary awards. But, even with a more experienced eye, there’s still a lot I love about them. They’re well-paced, the universe is expansive and fascinating, and come on, you have huge machines firing tremendous weapons at each other. It’s the equivalent of sci-fi candy, and I’m eating it by the fistful.
I don’t think we should judge people on what they like in terms of art, and I don’t really think there’s any objective standard for what’s good and what’s not.
What’s more important is this – did you love it? If you did, then it’s good art for you. If you didn’t, then it’s not good art for you. But it may be for another.
Stay awesome friends,