greygirlbeast (greygirlbeast) wrote,

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Hope is for sissies. ~ Gregory House, MD


Yesterday, there was a great gnashing and wailing of teeth, and cries of despair went up from all the people of all the lands, and lo, a great shadow did befall the land. And then I shut the fuck up, tossed back two shots of Jose Cuervo, there was a meeting with my agent, and I began writing. I did 1,439 words on Chapter Four of Fay Grimmer. I am now more than halfway through the book. Which means I'm halfway through the (cough, cough) trilogy. Oh, and by the way, Blood Oranges isn't the book of mine I "hate" (we can make a game of this, if you'd like).

Did I mention how important it is that you preorder Alabaster: Wolves (and tick the thumbs-up "like" thingy) if you want more Dancy comics? C'mon, guys. There are a lot of you. This is a challenge. All we need to do is sell 2,500 copies. Alan Moore shits 2,500 copies before fucking breakfast. And yeah, at this point, it's the preorders that matter. Really. Even I wouldn't make up anything that crazy. So, feed the monkey, and thank you.


On the subject of "mundane science fiction": Yesterday, corucia sent me an email, in which he wrote:

While I understand the reasons for them imposing the limits that underlie "mundane SF", the very act of stating them explicitly limits the writers, setting up a low expectation in the readers. I've read lots of great SF that would fit within their constraints, but doesn't hobble itself by trumpeting the idea. Iain Banks' "Against a Dark Background" serves as a good example - the situation he places his characters and world in have all of the limitations of "mundane SF" but is wide-ranging and never limited, with a marvelous storyline.

Mostly, yup. Mostly, I agree. Well, sort of. Or maybe I don't.** Anyway, I should probably point out, after the comments I made regarding mundane SF on September 30th, that several of my SF stories would fall within the criteria that have been set forth by Geoff Ryman et al. (see the Wikipedia article, linked to above). These include "The Pearl Diver," "Ode to Katan Amano," "In View of Nothing," and "A Season of Broken Dolls," among others. For that matter, "Bradbury Weather" might qualify, as it says nothing of interstellar travel, just Martian colonization and a sentient Martian race.

Point is, great stories are written that fall within the parameters of mundane SF (though mine may, or may not, qualify as "great"). The problem is that the movement of mundane SF seeks to be prescriptive. It seeks to say, "This is the only way to write good science fiction stories." Which is bullshit. It's specifically bullshit in this case, as we can cite many dozens of examples to the contrary, and it's bullshit because the unabashedly arrogant and short-sighted founders of the movement don't understand that science fiction is fiction, not science. Big difference. Science fiction is no more science than is high fantasy or westerns or the ghost story. It has no more right to claim that it's the "literature of ideas"* than does Moby Dick, The Heart of Darkness, The Color Purple, The Grapes of Wrath, or Ulysses. And there are few things in literature more heinous than seeking to be prescriptive, seeking to tell other writers what they should write, which, by extension, is telling readers what they should read.

Enough said. For now, anyway. Write, and read, whatever sort of fiction you want to write, and read what you want to read. Just do it well. Oh, and no matter what sort of fiction you're writing, unless the characters come first, give it up. Fiction is about people, not things. Not events, unless it's about how things and events affect people. Enter the minds of your people and allow them to become people. Is that prescriptive, what I just said. If it is, whatever. I'm a hypocrite. Still, the "mundane" movement remains full of shit. I'm keeping my starships, intergalactic travel, and aliens. I won't ditch Childhood's End and Dune and Slaughterhouse-Five because a bunch of self-important doofuses say we need to SF to "progress" beyond Shai-Hulud and Tralfamadorians. That's another myth: No form of fictional literature progresses towards some ideal, superior form, anymore than biological evolution displays progress from "primitive" to "advanced" states. Didn't we get past these silly notions way back in the early 20th Century?

Oh, and eBay!

I Have Coffee Mouth,
Aunt Beast

*Pamela Sargent said that, near as I can tell. It is worth noting that she was anything but a "mundane" SF author. Hell, she wrote fucking Star Trek tie-ins.

** corucia is a smart dude, regardless. One of my favorites on LJ. Back off, man. He's a scientist. No, the actual, factual sort. And he knows about turtles.
Tags: alabaster, blood oranges, dune, evolution, fay grimmer, hope, house, kurt vonnegut, progress, sales, science fiction, writing

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