Re: RARA-AVIS: Sturgeon's "Cellmate"

From: Mark R. Harris (
Date: 11 Jun 2008

I agree that the application of this "law" can be lazy and annoying. It becomes an excuse to ignore 90% of everything. Even if the law was true, how would we know which 10% of production to pay attention to? I am not saying that there are no clues to help discrimate potentially quality work from likely non-quality work, but you have to look at a lot of stuff the find the good, and I honestly think it's more than 10%.


On 6/11/08, Juri Nummelin <> wrote:
> --- In <>,
> "foxbrick" <foxbrick@...> wrote:
> > That's pretty much what Sturgeon meant--from the ridiculously
> awful to
> > the utterly humdrum mediocrity.
> Todd,
> it would be really nice to know why mediocre is crap. I think
> someone like Brett Halliday or Edward S. Aarons is mediocre, but
> they are not crap in any sense of the word. Or maybe someone like
> G.W. Ford, from the more recent writers. Or Sue Grafton (okay, I
> haven't read that much by her, but I wouldn't say she's great nor
> would I say she's crap). Mediocre can be very entertaining, while
> crap is almost never entertaining. (Unless it's something like THE
> I've been pissed at Sturgeon's Law for some time now. Okay, Sturgeon
> meant it as a joke (he was drunk, as Richard pointed out) and we
> should treat it as such and not take it as a truth. It's become sort
> of a lame excuse. Someone says: "Hey, crime novels are crap, didn't
> you know that, read literary novels instead." And we say back,
> smirking: "Hey, didn't you know that 90 % of literary novels is
> crap?" And that's the end of discussion.
> Juri

Mark R. Harris
2122 W. Russet Court #8
Appleton WI 54914
(920) 470-9855

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