Why Did You Stop Writing About Science Fiction?

by James Wallace Harris, Thursday, May 16, 2019


I haven’t stopped writing about science fiction. If anything, I’ve become more obsessed with science fiction history. However, I’m discovering only some of my Auxiliary Memory readers like reading about science fiction while many others have told me they tune out those posts. I don’t blame them, there are many subjects in this world I tune out too.

So for my fellow Sci-Fi fans, I’m posting my essays about science fiction to The Classics of Science Fiction website. Those of you who want to only read about science fiction can follow my blog over there. Information about subscribing and RSS feeds are at the bottom of individual blog post pages.

Auxiliary Memory will remain my blog about my personal life and opinions about everything that isn’t science fiction.

It’s been interesting to see how my friends and family relate to my blog posts. I write about a variety of topics. Every relationship is a Venn diagram of common interests. Out of all the people I know personally, only two like to talk about science fiction. However, I have many online acquaintances that I share an interest in science fiction. In many ways, I feel more connected to those people because we’ve zeroed in on a subject we love.

People use the term “blood relation” to mean a special bond. I’ve always felt that a “shared interest” is more significant than shared DNA. I have many interests, so I have many kinds of friends. The internet is especially useful because it lets us connect with people who share our most unique fascinations. I’m currently focused on old science fiction magazines and anthologies. Most of my conversations about this topic are with five people scattered across the world. I figured all told, there are probably less than a thousand people interested in old science fiction magazines and only a few dozen in old science fiction anthologies. What percentage of 7 billion would that be? Extremely tiny.

I write about a variety of subjects but I’m finding only some attract the general reader. Most people who read blogs like to read memoir-like narratives rather than essays on abstract subjects. Blogging is an extremely insightful hobby. Most people enjoy chatting with other people, but if they are going to take in 1,500-word chunks prefer reading books. Reading a blog is more like listening to a friend talk a blue streak than reading an article in The Atlantic.

In the old days, I’d be writing what I write for a diary or journal, and I’d assume no one else would be reading it. Blogging is like keeping a diary that you leave around for anyone to read. It’s a weird art form, but it’s also my chosen retirement hobby. So I shall continue to experiment with what it can do. One experiment is to separate out all my ideas on one topic into a blog just for that topic. It’s fun to distill a subculture.




7 thoughts on “Why Did You Stop Writing About Science Fiction?”

  1. I thought the purpose of your blog was to write about science fiction and other literature related to it.I didn’t mind some of your other posts,if they were interspersed with the those about SF.I don’t see why people want to come to your blog if they don’t want to read about science fiction.It shouldn’t have to just please them.

    I don’t mean to be harsh James.I’m sorry,but I have be honest.Still,it all up to you what you do I suppose.

    1. At times I have focused on science fiction here, and I think a lot of people came to think that was the main purpose of this blog. But because I also want to write about everything I got the feeling the other essays were of little use to the science fiction people. So my other site is pure SF, all the time.

  2. I did like the science fiction,but I didn’t mind the other posts sometimes,even though I didn’t like all of them.I did try to read them all though.I now hope to read keep reading this blog and your sister blogs.

  3. I did like the science fiction,but I didn’t mind the other posts sometimes,even though I didn’t like all of them.I did try to read them all though.I now hope to read keep reading this blog and your sister blogs.

  4. My literary tastes haven’t changed so much over the years. When I was younger and haunting the Public Library, one of my favourite hangouts was the Dewey decimal section where they kept essay collections. These days I mostly read blogs and online mags to feed that appetite. However I do miss one form that was once common fodder but is now almost extinct – the humorous essay. There used to be quite a few authors who made a decent living at writing those.

  5. Two blogs! I find it hard enough to post every day on my one blog. Your articles a year ago ignited my interest in THE GREAT SF STORIES and other classic SF collections. Thank you for that!

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