Friday, July 28, 2017

The Spoiler as Screening System

I am a spoiler junkie. I love to get spoiled on books, shows, films, etc. because this often satisfies my curiosity about some such thing before I spend precious time and money on it. I've avoided wasting hours of my life and thousands of dollars over the years by hitting up spoiler sites and videos. Why? Because I've avoided games that are not fun to play, books that are not fun to read, and films/television that are not fun to watch. (Should've done that for Agents of SHIELD.)

In many cases, the summaries are sufficiently thorough that I can discuss the work in question with people who've consumed it and not miss a beat. (This is a reliable tell regarding the work in question, and often of its fandom.) Letting others talk has done far more to tell me that I was right to go with the spoiler and skip it than to convince me otherwise. Using spoilers as a screen allows me to avoid most of the crap.

It's also turned out to be very efficient for managing my time. If I can read a handful of spoilers over a coffee break, I can screen out a bunch of pop-culture offerings that others go on about. (Most notable? Game of Thrones.) That gives me more time to enjoy that which is good, entertaining, and satisfying.

The result? That, for a fraction of the expense, I have a broad familiarity with what's there; by screening out crap, I can focus upon the gems and classics, which provides a far superior return on the investment made. I am far richer spiritually, intellectually, and culturally for doing so.

Which means that my favorite SF books (for example) tend to be Appendix N and PulpRev favorites:

  • A Princess of Mars (which might as well be "Edgar Rice Burroughs's corpus")
  • Dune
  • Galactic Patrol (also a stand-in for E.E. Smith's body of work)
  • Legend of the Galactic Heroes (which are available in English now, and the light novels came first- not the anime)

Not the full list. That's just a sample.

I've done plenty to avoid reading crap of all sorts, from pozzed message fic to sanctioned fan-fic, and I regret none of this. My time has value, and I'd rather spend it enjoying the good stuff while shunning the swill as much as I can. (This is also why I've shifted to small publishers and independents over Trad Pub outfits, and buying used vs. new for print.) It's not perfect, but it doesn't have to be perfect to be effective- and using spoilers as a screen is very effective indeed.

1 comment:

  1. You got any good resources for man wanting to spoil more?


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