Tuesday News: Historical fiction and accuracy, cultivating diversity on television, Comcast & Apple talk streaming tv, and 11 seriously overdue library books
How true should historical fiction be? – An interesting piece from Stephanie Merritt, who argues that authors of historical fiction have no responsibility to make the history in their books authentic. At the same time, however, she indicates that for authors who do not know the actual history, changing the rules may get them in trouble, because it’s only those who know the rules who can effectively break them. I agree with Merritt, but I would also argue that if you’re twisting the history, it’s no longer historical fiction…
But novelists are not history teachers. It’s not our job to educate people, and if we start using words like “duty” and “responsibility” about historical fiction – or any fiction – we’re in danger of leaching all the vigour out of it with a sense of worthiness. A novelist has no real duty to anything except the story he or she is creating, the characters who inhabit it and whatever view of the world he or she is offering with the novel’s ending. But if you are going to play fast and loose with historical fact for the sake of a good story, you’d better have done your research thoroughly if you want readers to take you seriously; only then will you have the authority to depart from those facts. –The Guardian
Bringing Diversity to TV: Whose Job Is It? – When we talk about responsibility to portray certain things accurately, the issue becomes much more complex when we’re talking about the appropriation of another people’s experience, whether that be straight women writing about m/m Romance or white authors writing about people of color. I know this article is about the television environment, where power structures operate somewhat differently, but I’m also somewhat ambivalent about this argument. On the one hand, I agree that those in power must actively support and cultivate more diversity, but I also worry that it’s going to be diversity on white male terms, and that’s hardly ideal. Interesting article, though, and Mindy Kaling’s perspective is thought-provoking, as well.
A community effort is needed here, and the folks with actual greenlighting power (who are still overwhelmingly white and male) should lead efforts to support diversity in movies and television shows. The demand and the money are there, and it’s now up to the studio and network executives to catch their content up to reality. –Hyphen Magazine
Some Thoughts On The Latest Apple-Comcast Streaming TV Talks – So we all knew this was coming, right? And apparently Apple’s stock rose upon reports of these discussions. Frankly, I’m kind of worried about Comcast or Apple getting any bigger, but as TechCrunch points out, this is not really a revolutionary idea. Still not sure whether I prefer the idea of an Apple TV streaming model, or a Comcast app on Apple TV, though. Is neither an option?
Already, Comcast has introduced a managed service for streaming videos that it delivers through its streaming Xbox Live app. That means that those streams don’t travel over the broader Internet, but to work they require a subscriber to be a Comcast broadband subscriber as well as a TV subscriber.
All of which is to say, the type of deal that Apple and Comcast are talking about isn’t without precedent. And a whole lot of how it is delivered will be dependent on who exactly owns the customer relationship and what the service entails. –TechCrunch
11 Ridiculously Overdue Library Books (That Were Finally Returned) – From the WTF files, check out these overdue books — some of which are more than two hundred years overdue. Yes, two HUNDRED years overdue. –Mental Floss