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And I only am escaped...

We made it all the way through The Dry Salvages today, marking missing commas and such. I found one possible problem involving light speed and relativity, but it's easily fixed. All in all, the ARC version is in good shape. And, as I've said, I am very proud of this story.

But I'm wrestling with many of the inherent difficulties of science fiction. The worst, I think, is that though I may strive to write about a character in the 24th century, in truth all I'm ever doing is writing 21st-century characters in a postulated 24th-century setting. Language is especially frustrating, trying to imagine how a character might speak, while, at the same time, leaving the language accessible to a contemporary audience. Science fiction is not an exact science, but then neither are most of the most interesting sciences.

Comments

greygirlbeast
Jul. 20th, 2004 02:10 am (UTC)
Ian McDonald, _River of Gods_ (futuristic India) and _Necroville_ (Return of the Living Dead vs. Nanotech)

These two have me very interested.

Writing near-future sci-fi is a thousand times harder than writing stuff placed more distantly in the future, since the further off you go the more freedom you have in describing and creating ambient technologies without having to worry about explaining exactly how they evolved from *today's* technologies in order to make the period details more realistic.

Yes. This has been my experience, both with what I read and with what I write.
oneirophrenia
Jul. 20th, 2004 04:29 am (UTC)
River of Gods (only available in UK at present): http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0743256700/qid=1090297656/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_10_1/202-9047638-4752620
Necroville (published in US as Terminal Cafe): http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0553374168/qid=1090297492/sr=ka-3/ref=pd_ka_3/104-9507954-7186332

I prettymuch recommend anything and EVERYthing by Ian McDonald, as he is one of the most amazing sci-fi/fantasy writers of all time. Oftimes his skill with language reminds me of another famous Dubliner of the literary situation, James Joyce, only with a healthy dose of Yeats' lyricism and cyberpunk technobabble. Simply amazing.