June 9th, 2007


"time" is a four-letter word

I took two kava at about 3:45 a.m. and so managed to get seven hours uninterrupted sleep, but now I'm groggy and dragged out and can't quite get my eyes to focus. And I need to keep this shortish, because I slept too late.

A comment to Thursday's entry by sisyphusiren, who writes:

While I was reading Tales from the Woeful Platypus, I noticed a strong undercurrent of connection between sex, destruction of a more human created world, and (re)creation of a more natural one - or perhaps a breaking down of the barriers between. Specifically, I noticed this in "Daughter of Man, Mother of Wyrm" and "The Garden of Living Flowers," though I'm sure I could come up with more examples if I had the motivation to get out of my rolly chair and get the book. I was just wondering if this was conscious or subconscious intent on your part, or something more along the lines of the "relative reading" you mentioned before?

This time you're seeing something I've placed there consciously. Almost all the erotic fiction I've written has, to one degree or another, dealt directly with the subversion of body, mind, and (to a lesser extent) society by the invasion of the Other, the Uncanny. Which is very often the subject of my non-erotic writing, for that matter. In part, this simply follows from what I happen to find erotic. I have so many kinks, but I think they can all be placed beneath the umbrella of "transformation." But this recurring theme also arises from my thoughts on Cosmicism, the transitory nature of humanity, and the frisson that can be aroused by touching upon the common human fear or dread or secret and taboo longing for genuine transmutation. All material states are temporary, though most people spend their lives trying to believe otherwise. Flux is the rule. The reality of a continuum versus the illusion of discrete units of existence. That's where it's coming from. Forgive me if I'm not making much sense; I'm still trying to find wakefulness. Good question, though. And now that I think on it, this is, I suspect, why some people commenting upon the writing in Sirenia Digest and the two volumes of collected erotica have praised the writing, but noted that it isn't actually erotic (or isn't actually "erotica"). To which I can only reply, for me it is, very much so.

And yesterday, tactileson wrote:

What I love most about your sci-fi work is how it seems to not concern itself with the fact that it is sci-fi. The setting of the future is just another backdrop to tell a story, which makes the story all the more intriguing. It many cases, to me at least, it's like getting a glimpse into the actual future, like reading a fictional tale that just happened to be written by someone in the future. I like that quite a lot.

And my response to David was that this pretty much sums up my approach to sf. One reason so much of it fails to capture my interest is that often the author is actually writing about the science and the technology, creating fiction that's really not much more than gussied-up tech prOn. And I accept that some writers want to write this, and that some readers want their sf to be of this sort, but it's not what I do. I write stories about characters, and whether those characters are inhabiting a past, present, or future setting, they are the central focus. In the case of sf, they are not there arbitrarily, merely so that I have an excuse to expound upon this or that imagined future. So, yes, another good point.

Replying to good comments makes blogging ever so much easier.

As for yesterday, I began a new piece for Sirenia Digest #19, "The Steam Dancer," which is not only my first attempt at anything like a Western, it's also my first real attempt at alternate history or steampunk. The style is very stripped down. I did 1,107 words yesterday, and Spooky likes it a lot, which is usually a good sign. We had a nice walk yesterday, in between thunderstorms. The rain is badly needed here. We watched Hayashi Shigeyuki's Metoroporisu (2001) for a sort of pseudo-Kid Night film. Spooky had not seen it, and I'd only seen it twice. It is such a beautiful, brilliant film. Afterwards, I logged onto Second Life and did my stripper thing at Club insureXtion in Moolbora. I made $701 Lindens, which is a fair sight better than the night before. Thanks to the people who came out. But, at one point, I could not help but recall what Agent Smith says to Morpheus:

Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be...happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program, entire crops were lost. Some believed that we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world...But I believe, that as a species, human beings define their reality though misery and suffering.

And Milton, too: The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven.

Okay, and anyway, the writing awaits. I want to try to finish "The Steam Dancer" by Monday, because UPS left a CEM on my porch this morning while I was sleeping, courtesy my editor at HarperCollins, and I only have until the 19th to take care of that. I'm coming, platypus. Hold your horses...

Oh, and here's the link to the Silk auction.

We're all Neo here.

A quick message from the metaverse. If any Second Lifers out there are brave enough or interested enough, I'll be dancing live tonight, starting in just a little bit now and going until 2 a.m. EST, at Club insureXtion, which moved today to a new location in Bro City. Hard Rock Center. Sign in and if you can't find it via search, just IM me and I'll send you a landmark so you can teleport in.

Your's truly,
Nareth Nishi (me)