Dave Itzkoff: Firm Champion of White Male Speculative Fiction Authors Everybody Else Has Heard Of

It’s bad enough that Sam Tanenhaus feels that Dave Itzkoff’s science fiction column is only worth an appearance once every solstice. (His last column appeared on September 24, six weeks ago.) But it seems that Itzkoff is more interested in covering obvious authors rather than exploring the eclectic terrain of speculative fiction in any substantive way. (See, by contrast, Ron Charles’ seamless integration of genre titles into the Washington Post‘s Book World, which offer a common entry point for both speculative fiction fan and mainstream reader alike.)

In this week’s New York Times Book Review, Dave Itzkoff, once in another display of Caucasian boosterism, serves up this overview of Neil Gaiman, apparently discovering The Sandman more than a decade after everybody else.

When your resident science fiction columnist is only just discovering Neil Gaiman (and we can be sure that Itzkoff’s failure to reference American Gods, the critical and commercial hit that established that Gaiman was not just a comic book writer), that’s a sure sign that you have a genre illiterate on the payroll.

One Comment

  1. In all fairness to Itzkoff, I don’t get the sense, necessarily, that he’s just discovering the Sandman comics. He may not be very adventuresome in his book choices, nor too well versed in the genre overall, but the Absolute Sandman book is new, and I’m sure there are many Times readers who have never read the series.

    That said, I agree it would be nice to see better, and more frequent, writing on genre fiction in the New York Times Book Review.

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