September 6th, 2012

Chiana 6

"Look upward, and share...the wonders I have seen."


Which is to say, ten years ago today the abrupt and unexpected and baffling cancellation of Farscape was announced. Truly, one of the five or six smartest, bravest, strangest, funniest, most poignant and innovative sf/f series ever. Yes, including Doctor Who. The critics adored it. And I loved the series a decade ago, so much that I gave up about six months rather foolishly trying to help others get the SciFi Channel (now SyFy) to change its mind and at least allow the series to finish with a fifth season, instead of the brutal cliffhanger at the end of Season Four. Well, we were rewarded with a two-part, four-hour miniseries that attempted to encapsulate all of Season Five (and possibly Six) and was so very awful (a few scenes aside) that, in retrospect, I wish it had never been made. The cliffhanger would have been more fitting. Anyway, that's not the point. The series was amazing. Especially seasons Two, Three, and Four. And it left its mark, influencing many series that have come afterwards.

Ah, screw it. But I am not Kirk, Spock, Luke, Buck, Flash, or Arthur frelling Dent. I'm Dorothy Gale from Kansas. ~ John Crichton, "Unrealized Realities"

So, yeah. Ten years.


Yesterday, I wrote 1,403 words on "Our Lady of Arsia Mons." I think it's going very well. However, I also think setting it in 2229 was a mistake, and I'm going to pull the story back towards the middle of the 21st century. Accurate technological predictions in sf are almost always impossible, and taking them seriously is foolishness. Just ask William Gibson about TV, cell phones, and Neuromancer. But I do feel more comfortable fucking up a vision of the nearer future. Will there still be paper? Will humans prove curious enough and greedy enough to actually establish themselves on Mars? Will there still be newscasters? Will Yale University survive? What about Makroclear? Will a Third World War, a pandemic, terrorism, human population collapse, environmental degradation or a natural disaster, and/or dependence on non-renewable energy sources slow down the current pellmell technological marathon? What the hell's going to happen with AI? Androids? Can we even begin to guess all the myriad forms computers will assume in the next twenty years? No...we can't come close. So, we make shit up.

Science fiction writers are, in the main, an arrogant, deluded lot (not necessarily a bad thing*), and they fucking HATE to admit – even after years of research and degrees in this, that, and the other – how they are, at the end of the day, just making shit up. And mostly, we're utterly wrong.** I call this Flying Car Syndrome.


I meant to spend some time last night in Cox, but spent most of it in GW2, instead. Gods, Hoelbrak is amazing. Truly, the Norn capital city is bigger than all of Freemarch! And beautifully rendered and detailed. There is, after all, great opportunity for RP. Anyway, also watched two more eps of House M.D., which I think is getting better. It just needs to be braver and rely less on formula. Spooky made spaghetti with her yummy stir fry tomato sauce and some sort of sausages.

I wrote a blurb for Molly Tanzer's forthcoming debut collection, A Pretty Mouth. She asked for and I'd promised her an introduction, but I suck like Hoover at promises, and I apologize again, Molly. Guys, BUY THIS FUCKING BOOK. Right now! Go! Buy it! Okay, wait. You'll have to wait a bit longer. But. Brilliant. Also, she's a resident of my old and belov'd digs, Boulder, Colorado, so, extra points!

I read a story by Elizabeth Hand, "Wonderwall." A superb "ghost" story, which is, in truth, more of a story about the nature of hauntings. Which I vastly prefer to actual ghost stories, sensu the sort where the ghost is literally a disembodied spirit/spirits rattling chains and whatnot. Usually, those sorts of ghosts bore me sideways.

And that was yesterday. Yes, this will be on the test.

Still a 'Scaper After All These Years,
Aunt Beast

* As this makes them – us – exactly like all other writers.
** I believe decades of embarrassment over this problem led, eventually, to the atrociously dull Mundane school of sf.