It’s again respectable to write genre fiction. I think that this is one aspect of the demise (or at least rethinking) of Big Publishing that can be construed as positive. The whole idea of genre stemmed from the need to market to specialized segments, but I think it gave rise to unhealthy prejudice. “I don’t like historical fiction.” Say that and you remove from your canon the superlative Patrick O’Brian novels, Wolf Hall, The Luminaries and hundreds of other beautifully written books. “I refuse to read fantasy” rules out the splendid Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell. A dislike of war fiction eliminates A Farewell to Arms, The Things They Carried and (ahem), my own book.