Letter from the Editors #6

Spending time representing AE at conventions over the past year, I’ve been reminded again and again that few people in the world bring such passion to their interests as science fiction fans. It’s a fundamental trait of the geek personality to latch onto some object of fascination and fall entirely down the rabbit hole. But there’s a dark side to this laser-like attention as well. As easy as it is to love something, it can be easier to loathe it.

Spending time representing AE at conventions over the past year, I’ve been reminded again and again that few people in the world bring such passion to their interests as science fiction fans. It’s a fundamental trait of the geek personality to latch onto some object of fascination and fall entirely down the rabbit hole. But there’s a dark side to this laser-like attention as well. As easy as it is to love something, it can be easier to loathe it.

When done properly a two-minute (or two-hour) hate can be not only satisfying, but entertaining (those in doubt need look no further than the Mr. Plinkett reviews of the Star Wars prequels). But all the best satires and teardowns come from a place of love. There is little so tiresome as enduring an earnest rant on the failings of a piece of art. And, on the whole, liking things is a hell of a lot more rewarding than hating them. That’s why it makes me so sad when I hear fans going on at length about how much they hate Twilight, Harry Potter, the new Battlestar Galactica — or whatever else has caught their ire — even as they seem unable to tear themselves away from the object of their loathing.

Geeks, fans, readers, don’t be afraid to put on those rose-coloured glasses from time to time. Nothing is perfect, but we’re living through a major renaissance of our chosen genre. There is no shortage of incredible stories out there and though you’re under no obligation to love them all, there are surely some gems out there waiting for you to immerse yourself in them.

Turn over a new leaf and linger on the positive: aim to like more than you dislike. Fortunately, we’ve made it easy for you. This, the sixth issue of AE, is filled with first-rate stories from fantastic authors. Start your year of reading with “Baby, Your Body’s My Bass” by AE veteran Edward W. Robertson, and you’ll find yourself quickly reminded how to love a story.

All the best for 2012,

— D.F. McCourt and the AE staff

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