I wish I had more non-fiction about emerging technologies and how to reckon the changes in technology with our humanity. I want non-fiction about understanding the human condition in light of medical discoveries. I want non-fiction that turns the tables on quackery, bias, and poor reasoning. I want a treatise on personal privacy, encryption and security in the digital age written by an expert in cryptography, privacy, or both. I want to read some adventurous non-fiction about people going remote places and doing exciting things while avoiding turning it into some Eat, Pray, Love personal journey. Challenges you face should be mostly external (sub-freezing temps, high altitudes, storms, fires, ravenous wildlife, conflict zones) If you’re a scientist or an academic, it’s better than if you’re just an outdoor enthusiast or passionate amateur. If you went to Siberia to spelunk into those giant mysterious sink-holes, that’s the type of thing I want to read about.
I want more literary fiction, but I don’t want it from @GuyInYourMFA types. I want literary fiction with a strong plot, and I don’t think that’s a contradiction. I want literary fiction that explores sub-cultures, that delves deep into otherness. POC and LGBTQ authors are not just welcome, but encouraged to submit. Work should be challenging, passionate, and purposeful. I feel like so much of literary fiction can be read in NPR voice, yours would be too urgent and emphatic for that. Terry Gross should have an easier time reading Wu Tang lyrics aloud.
Give me books about modern intelligence gathering. I want Le Carre for post Snowden era. Undermine our understanding of the established order, show us conspiracies within conspiracies, and a plucky protagonist who isn’t Jack Bauering his way through problems, but is actually smarter than bad guys, and maybe even smarter than the reader. Also looking for thrillers that aren’t jet-setting around the world. You have a thriller that remains set in and captures the character of Cape Town, or shows us the seedy underbelly of Ottowa (not sure one exists there, but if it does, I’d like to read about it) then that’s my kind of book.
I wish for more weird fantasy. To be more specific, I wish for deeply, unnervingly, weird fantasy. I wish for fantasy that would scarcely be recognized as fantasy. All a fantasy really requires is a fantastical setting, a system of magic, a hero (or heroine), and a quest. It doesn’t all have to be European-medieval analog swords and chivalry. Works can transgress current fantasy tropes, or ignore them entirely, but I wish for better than the current crop of GRRM clones I’ve been seeing. As with literary fiction, POC and LGBTQ voices not just welcomed but encouraged.
Any submission rules we should know about?: http://ethanellenberg.com/submission-guidelines/
Submission email: agent at ethanellenberg dot com
Twitter handle: @EvanJGregory
See all of Evan’s #MSWL tweets here.