I was looking at John Scalzi's Whatever blog while pondering placing him on my blogroll as a replacement for some others whom I've stopped reading with any degree of interest or enthusiasm. Then I came across this post. You see, the thing I dislike the most about fandom - and I dislike it quite strongly - is the uncomfortable and overly close relationship it breeds between artists and their audience. I'm a strong advocate of the fourth wall being, if not impenetrable, then at least a functional one-way mirror for most of its operational lifetime. I don't want writers to be my friends, or mentors, or, heaven forbid, siblings parents or spouses. I don't want to consider their feelings when reading their output, and in fact, as I read an awful lot of fiction, oftentimes I don't want to think about them at all, if at all possible.
The internet & blogs in particular have done a lot to break down these barriers between the artist and the audience, and I can't say I'm too happy about it. I'm a nasty piece of work, to be honest, and it freaks me out when I say something about a writer out of the blue and he replies in email. It's all a bit "Kent, this is God" for my tastes. It's even worse when a writer I sort-of know & otherwise respect lays a massive turd of a book, and then I find myself tip-toeing around the subject. I *like* there to be a distance between me & my writers.
So I may or may not go back to Scalzi's blog. He's an amusing guy. But I've got this issue to work out on the subject.